Skip to main content

Tidal: Is It Washed Up Already?


Some of the artists who threw their weight behind Tidal at its relaunch. 

Music streaming services gained a new high-profile competitor yesterday, as Jay-Z relaunched the Tidal music service he purchased for an eye-watering $56m earlier this year.

Eye-watering? Well, yes. The service has a reputed 27,000 subscribers who, if they are all paying for the top-tier high quality service (which they probably aren't) generate a maximum $0.5m a month in revenue. Of that presumably Tidal pays a similar royalty rate to other streaming services, which would suggest that 70% of that revenue exits the door in the direction of the music publishers. Leaving $150k per month to pay for all of the costs related to running the service before any thought of a profit can be considered.

If the only competition out there was from Spotify then perhaps Tidal would have a chance, with its relaunch message being about artist ownership and a bigger cut being paid to the artist. But Apple is almost certainly going to go big with its Beats streaming service any time now - and Tidal doesn't seem to have a space to slip into between Spotify's combination of freemium/subscriber and Apple's customer loyalty.

Worse still, Jay-Z seems to have lined up a selection of good buddies who will share the profits (if they arrive) and withhold content from other streaming services to boost Tidal's penetration. That doesn't sound like the sort of tactic that is going to garner Tidal new users nor be received very well by those artist's fans.

With a poetic sense of timing, Tidal launched on the same day Sony officially canned its Music Unlimited offering and switched users to Spotify. If that doesn't hold portents for Tidal's future I don't know what does.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.