For those not keeping score at home, Jay-Z’s new all-encompassing online media service Tidal has gotten off to quite the rocky start. A music streaming service with a direct fan to artist and artist to label relationship is a lovely idea on paper, but hard to sell when you populate the stage of your launch press conference with some of the wealthiest people in the music industry; watching people like Jay himself, wife Beyoncé, and artists like J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Madonna, and others who are beyond well established in the industry boiled down to millionaires complaining about not being billionaires, regardless of the good intentions Jay wound up posting all over Twitter a couple of weeks later.
It’d be unfair of me not to give Tidal credit where credit is due, however. As many people have made me *very* much aware, the service is still young and still finding itself; yes, the service will offer exclusive music premieres; yes, you can get into free concerts if you’re a member (J. Cole recently had one and Jay’s got a B-Sides show coming up this month); yes, there will even be exclusive video content, like the Erykah Badu-starring Western They Die By Dawn or the video for Rihanna’s single “American Oxygen”. As enticing as these features may sound, the combination of a clunky and clueless rollout, a hefty price tag ($20/month for HiFi content), and confusion over said pricing have submerged Tidal’s potential marketability. Hell, just look at its position on the iTunes chart.
But there was another vastly powerful hip-hop artist turned businessman who released an all-encompasing media app the very same week, yet flew just out of reach of most people’s radars even though it eclipsed Tidal’s downloads by a wide margin…
…and Odd Future head honcho Tyler, The Creator is that artist.