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Jay Z recently relaunched Tidal, the music streaming service he acquired in March 2015. His plan is to entice people away from Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, and the host of other similar services already available, but he stands absolutely no chance of doing so.

There are some serious problems with Tidal, not least of which is the way Jay Z is selling it to us as being a good thing for musicians. Musicians like him. Do we care about musicians? Should we care about musicians? Tidal has 99 problems, and the pitch is one.

The Facts

Tidal is a small music streaming service formerly owned by Swedish company Aspiro. Jay Z acquired Aspiro for $56 million Launching the Google Hardware Store, Play Cards Against Humanity Online [Tech News Digest] Launching the Google Hardware Store, Play Cards Against Humanity Online [Tech News Digest] The new Google Store, Cards Against Humanity, extended iTunes downtime, an updated Chromebook Pixel, Jay Z starts streaming, and the notion of a troll-free Internet. Read More , giving him ownership of both Tidal and WiMP. While the future of WiMP isn’t clear, Jay Z has big plans for Tidal.

Three weeks after acquiring the already existing service, Jay Z relaunched Tidal with help from his wife Beyoncé and some of their fellow superstar musicians. The hashtag #TIDALforALL trended around the world, and the service received considerable press coverage in the days that followed.

Tidal offers a catalog of streaming music similar, but slightly smaller, in size as Spotify and the like. There are two subscription tiers to choose from: $9.99-per-month for standard definition music, and $19.99-per-month for high definition music. There is no free tier, but there is a 30-day trial for those interested in trying Tidal on for size.

Those are the basic facts about Tidal. But what follows are the many and varied problems with Tidal that will, I suspect, ultimately lead to it failing spectacularly.

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The Pitch

To gain the maximum publicity for Tidal, Jay Z held a star-studded event attended by some of his fellow musicians. Thus, we had the pleasure of seeing the likes of Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Jack White, Rihanna, and Chris Martin all pledging allegiance to Tidal. Literally pledging allegiance, as they all signed a declaration of some kind.

The problem is they’re all already massively rich and successful. If you want to persuade people that Tidal is some kind of revolution aimed at giving the power back to the musicians, don’t invite a host of already successful artists on stage who are collectively worth billions of dollars.

Jay Z would have been better off inviting up-and-coming musicians 10 Music Search Engines To Discover Cool Music, Musicians & Great Bands 10 Music Search Engines To Discover Cool Music, Musicians & Great Bands Read More , who haven’t yet got record deals, or who are struggling to find gigs. That would have suggested Tidal is being run by and for musicians, and not by and for a rich cabal of artists who don’t need another revenue stream to pay rent.

Everybody understands that the rise of streaming is a bitter pill for some in the music industry to swallow. But the supposedly low rates offered by Spotify et al aren’t affecting Jay Z and his happy mob of millionaire musicians. Which makes the whole thing a disingenuous farce.

The Streaming

kid-listening-music-headphones

All products and services should live and die by the experience of using them. So it’s only fair to give Tidal a chance to impress. It’s certainly not a bad music streaming service, but it offers nothing over and above the ordinary which you can get from countless other alternatives.

Tidal’s big selling point is, supposedly, the high fidelity audio. While higher quality streams aren’t a bad thing, most people won’t even be able to tell the difference. And the minority that can tell the difference will have to pay through the nose for the pleasure.

The Price

cash-money-handover

Tidal has just two subscription tiers, and neither is free. Prices start at $9.99-per-month, which pays for the standard definition audio quality already offered by most of the competition. There is also a $19.99-per-month tier, which pays for the high definition audio quality.

Jay Z claims that these prices mean Tidal will be offering higher royalty rates to artists, which is no bad thing. But that only works if people use the service, which they’re much less likely to do thanks to the barrier to entry created by removing any option to listen for free 6 Online Music Streaming Services With NO Restrictions 6 Online Music Streaming Services With NO Restrictions Finding a completely unlimited music listening experience can be a challenge. So, if you want complete control over your listening experience, check out these six completely free options... Read More .

The Long Game

time-clock

Streaming IS the future of music. But it’s destined to be a long struggle persuading people to switch from buying and owning music to streaming music as and when they want. And the free tier offered by the well-established streaming music services is crucial for enabling that transition to take place.

Spotify Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide Spotify. Start it up, tell it what song or artist you want to listen to, and you start listening. You can access your playlists anywhere you have an Internet connection. Read More , to use the current market leader as an example, has built slowly, launching in a select few countries at a time, and offering free options to anyone who isn’t yet ready to pay for the privilege of streaming. This has enabled it to build an userbase of 60 million people, 15 million of them are now happy to pay for the privilege.

The Competition

spotify-fight

We have mentioned the competition throughout this piece for the simple reason that they are the biggest problem facing Tidal right now. Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, and Pandora are all bigger, better, and more established than Jay Z’s vanity project. And none of them come with the pretentious douchebaggery that was on show at the launch of Tidal.

To succeed, Tidal needs to not only persuade virgin streamers to sign up for a subscription, but also persuade veteran streamers to switch from their current service of choice. Which will require a lot more than a few exclusive tracks from a few select artists. Especially when Spotify is adding 20,000 new tracks to the service every single day.

The End?

the-end-is-nigh

The rise of streaming services does not represent the end of the music industry in any way, shape, or form. It’s an evolution, and one that could, if handled correctly, be the best weapon in the ongoing fight against music piracy Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] DMCA, SOPA, MegaUpload shut down, piracy becoming a religion in Sweden - not a week goes by without some shutdown, anti-piracy laws or shocking statistics about torrents - and I have to ask myself, is... Read More .

Jay Z and his crew may not be happy with the royalty rates currently on offer Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify In the past week Taylor Swift has pulled her music from Spotify, inspired countless song-pun laden headlines and reignited the debate about streaming music services. Read More , but even a few cents per play is better than nothing. Which is all any artist or record label will get if they push people into piracy.

The Conclusion

Tidal seems doomed to fail right from the off. The pitch rightly generated a slew of negative reactions, very few people desire the lossless audio that’s supposed to be a game-changer (even fewer when they’re being asked to pay extra for it), and the competition has years of experience and growth on their side.

Far from being a revolution set to make waves in the music industry, Tidal is an unoriginal idea designed to help rich musicians get richer, and screw everyone else. So, with that in mind, I’ll be sticking with Spotify. How about you?

Image Credits: Philippe Put, Quazie, nathanmac87, Jon Aslund, Otto Kristensen. All via Flickr

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  1. Simon
    September 16, 2016 at 7:07 am

    - Written by a Spotify employee?

    • Dave Parrack
      September 16, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Nope, just a writer with an opinion.

  2. Don
    June 7, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    The author should just once listen to tidal on a high quality hifi system and compare to a crappy compressed mp3 to realize how great music can actually sound if the source and recording are right. If he can't tell the difference and still thinks nobody will pay extra for quality he's probably in the wrong business and should stop writing about music.

  3. Jade
    April 3, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Love tidal and the quality.. Vast audio/ music library + lots of exclusive contents. Also.. They give out free front row concert tickets

  4. Anonymous
    August 10, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Tidal is now the centre of my music experience. With an iphone, ipad to stream lossless, via apple tv and optical cable into my peachtree dac x for highquality conversion into a $15-20k hifi (valve audio genesis pre amp and valve audio predator power amp) into Sonor Capella speakers ive ditched my cds. And please dont tell me you cant hear the difference of hifi downloads playing on the move into good quality headphones...listen absorptively and ditch the pop music. I accept not everyone is into music as i am, but tidal is cheap compared to buying cds rather than compressed mp3s. Enjoy

  5. Anonymous
    July 4, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    The music search features of this service is garbage. One can't search a specific album and,even worse, the recording of individual artists are displayed in a completely random order that can't be sorted alphabetically (or in any other logical order).

    • Anonymous
      August 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

      You can find individual albums.

      You can also search for artist and album

  6. Yash Desai
    May 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I just did the TIDAL test on my crappy laptop speakers and apparently I got 5/5 right. I still think most people can't tell the difference, just thought this was surprising.

  7. Gleiber pinho
    May 8, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Maybe nobody did not notice yet but some Realtek sound card in cheap computers does not have good panoramic stereo anymore, in order to make it sound louder with less watts the factory mixed R and L , it takes your ears out of the place in your head where it is supposed to be and move it more to center, and no way to change it because it is factory pre set. But who cares? Who does good mix stereo today? It spoil all music more than compression or not.

  8. Nigel Farage
    May 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    So that test proved exactly what I already thought- identical. I literally couldn't hear the slightest difference between already CD quality and this supposedly higher quality. Total emperors new clothes.

  9. daniel
    May 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I am looking for an alternative to Spotify just because they lack simple features like rating a song, sorting songs in more ways than just by name and artist, tagging a song or a proper shuffle play.

    Can't believe people would choose Spotify over other services because they don't like Jay Z....

    • Anonymous
      September 21, 2015 at 9:51 am

      I agree. Tidal is actually awesome. I like the ui it's cleaner and faster and the negative feedback is far more personal(trolling) than practical(evaluation). I signed up with the intent to see a crappy app with bad service and to my surprise found a stable streaming service as well as ui design with speed and quality. I think it's the publics disapproval of Jay that stirs the hated pot against tidal

  10. Adey J
    April 25, 2015 at 5:50 am

    $20 a month too prohibitive? WTF, do we all suddenly live in trailers on EBT?

    • You're Killing Me
      April 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      The argument isn't solely about being prohibitive, it's also about, who the hell cares. Seriously, TIDAL is just more of the same. so what they have lossless music. So what the musicians aren't being paid. So, so, so. And the consumer is to pay for the pleasure of no caring? What's in it for the consumer? Oh yes, I get to pay $120/year for something I can get for free, or $240/year for something I can get for free. They need to go back to the drawing board and figure out their broken business model, because it sounds more like charity.

  11. You're Killing Me
    April 24, 2015 at 7:41 am

    I'm a trained audio engineer, but I'm also a realist. The factual argument that lossless is better than MP3 by leaps and bounds doesn't matter! The most important fact is TIDAL erroneously tried to market itself to the masses. The mainstream has no clue what lossless/FLAC is. So if your most important product is virtually unknown, you're basically competing with the free, first to market "crappy" MP3 services, but with a $10/month subscription. Can you say, DOA? Every marketer knows, you must first find a whole, then fill it. There is no hole for TIDAL to fill, and there is nothing game changing, or innovative about it. Just a grave miscalculation from a group of millionaires attempting to sell the public on the need to treat struggling musicians fairly. Shame Jay Z didn't deem them sexy enough to share the stage. Nice try. NEXT!

  12. michael
    April 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    it makes me so happy to see rich celebs with ego fall down because they are greedy. help the small guy first rise up with the tide(slight pun intended), it'll help all ships.

    it's as if wall street banks are asking for giant bailouts...oh wait.

  13. Anonymous
    April 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    For the people that do not believe lossless is better and compressed audio. First it's possible to measure the audio signal with a simple program like AudioXplorer. Tidal have more db overall and more high frequency respond. High End system only goal are to come so close to the master recording as possible. High End Amplifier, Speakers, Signal path and Room corrections could come close to that. With High End Headphones we do not need room corrections. With a High End DAC with headphones amplifier we could connect directly to a digital device like a computer. The ears are very sensitiv to midrange speakers. So when a file is compressed it will lose frequency or lower the db on the frequency sprectrum. That is exactly what happen with Spotify vs Tidal HiFi on the same track. Not all speakers could play all frequency so well in high db. That means we have to change the EQ curve to match our speakers. But it also means we change how the music was mastered and should be sounded. Anyone that have been listen to High End system know how different a CD play's compare to a system someone else have that is not High End. The perfect speaker have a flat curve and 12db/oct for the low frequency and 18db/oct for the high frequency. That why people with a High End system almost never use EQ because they do not need that when they play lossless. The best way I think to compare lossless vs compressed audio is to play different tracks with low frequency, full range and high frequency audio with a flat EQ curve. I do understand that some people like low frequency and think Spotify sounds better. But that is not true Tidal have more full range frequency and more db. It means with Tidal Hifi we could play more db without noise and distortion. High End system allow audio to be played in high volume (db) and still be crystal clear sound that is not possible with compressed files or bad mastered records.

    • You're Killing Me
      April 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Who are you trying to convince with your comment? You're preaching to the choir. Those who know what lossless is knows the benefits. TIDAL needs the $10/mo. MP3 quality market to survive, and they will never get them because they already have free. TIDAL is an opportunistic play struggling to find a market, using the dumbest sales pitch ever to capture revenue. TIDAL has three choices, merge, sell, or die.

    • Anonymous
      August 10, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Exactly. Heathens. Let them suffer in their quagmire of dr beats rubbish headphones

  14. Hans
    April 11, 2015 at 8:02 am

    It isn't about the biz. It's all about the streaming quality.

    MP3s are ear garbage. They're damaged sound files & they can damage hearing (according to doctors). Many of the people walking around with ear buds today will be walking around with hearing aids in ten years. $20 is a small price to pay for your hearing.

    Lossless streaming like Tidal is CD quality, with all the depth & detail of the original recording, with none of the muddy flatness of MP3s. Plus, you can easily rip & rec flacs & cram hundreds of tunes on a music player.

    But if protecting your hearing isn't enough for you, another huge advantage is NO OBNOXIOUS COMMERCIALS that come with most streaming services! To me, that alone is worth it.

    Until the other streaming services go lossless (& they will eventually), Tidal seems like the best option for the moment.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      That's certainly one way of looking at. But you have focused solely on the issue of lossless audio, ignoring everything else wrong with Tidal. If it was a grassroots movement powered by struggling musicians then I'd be a lot more interested in giving it a chance.

  15. Denise Kramer
    April 9, 2015 at 12:30 am

    TIDAL is all about the undeserving rich getting richer and trying to play it off as some type of good thing for us, the public. all hype and all b.s. sorry.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      It was a huge mistake for Jay Z to only invite the richest and most powerful musicians on stage with him, that's for sure.

    • michael
      April 21, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      agreed.

  16. Stephen
    April 7, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Most intermediate to high-end PCs have optical out (SPDIF) ports. At my house, an optical cable leads from my PC to a digital/analog converter (DAC). The DAC is a $15 box the size of pack of gum. A pair of RCA cables carry the signal from the DAC to an integrated amp that powers four speakers and a subwoofer.
    I subscribe to Spotify and Amazon Prime Music. The audio streams from these services sounds only adequate on my system. DFX Audio Enhancer helps but the sound still falls well short of a CD or LP.
    Recently, I subscribed to Tidal. My default browser is IE10 so I wasn't happy to discover that Tidal's high definition stream only works with Chrome.
    The important point is that the sound quality of Tidal's stream is far better than the low bit-rate streams from other, more popular services. I don't need to use DFX with Tidal. As far as I can tell, songs streamed from Tidal sound the same as songs played from FLAC files. Try this: Listen to a song streamed in HD from Tidal and then listen to it streamed from Spotify. You will hear the difference, I think.
    Many music enthusiasts care about sound quality and won't mind paying $20.00/month for Tidal. One CD costs roughly that amount.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      There's a test linked to in the article that lets you listen to the same different song in two different qualities. I personally cannot tell the difference.

  17. Amanda Tattermask
    April 6, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    If the payout were, as you say, "a few cents per play," then I doubt musicians would be troubled by the move to streaming at all... but, in fact, it's a few fractions of a cent per play for most. Hardly anyone makes one full cent or more per play. It takes my band 1200 plays to equal the pay for one permanent download.

    It's good that the days of having to buy an album without hearing it first are gone, but this model with the current payouts just won't sustain any artists... We've got to change something, or talented musicians will start finding careers that actually pay a living wage... what do we do when all that talent leaves and we're stuck with label-manufactured acts?

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      I'm certainly not arguing against streaming music services paying artists more. They should. But they cannot run before they can walk, and I believe Spotify is building up in the right way.

  18. John
    April 6, 2015 at 3:43 am

    This article is a big advertisement for Spotify. I personally won't pay for Spotify, nor GooglePlay. Even though GooglePlay has a little bit better quality. I will only listen to music at CD quality, AppleLossless, or FLAC. I actually do hear the difference, and once I show my friends they do too. There are more than just school girls on back of buses listing to POP. I have always owned good quality speakers and headphones, even in high school. Scrolling through the comments I am glad to read many people agree. People do care about quality, especially if we are paying for it, and people do want a connection with the artists that they love. We have come a long way since Napster, and I think Tidal will succeed. Hopefully enough to keep in business.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      It isn't an advertisement for Spotify, as in we weren't paid to promote them in any way, shape, or form. If you need FLAC music then by all means pay for Tidal. But most people couldn't give two hoots, if they can even hear the difference.

  19. lucas
    April 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Don't hate the player hate the game.
    Jay-Z is just trying to get in the game of streaming music, he's a producer now, he just don't want to let the train of streaming pass by. Where will you get money as a producer if you can't sell CD's?Streaming!
    Yes it's not a revolution, but it's something different.
    And yes as rapper he knows the strategy to get people to get in and be col so the youth embrace it... Marketing, just look at Beats by Dre... marketing, marketing marketing, a lot of Stars showing they like it, in clip, advertising etc... And how did they end up... hooo right Apple bought it for it's pop culture not for sound quality.
    So he's just paying it smart, and yes sorry he is, he plays the game and play it well, lets just wait and see if they will bring more musicians in it, or label and even service in it, we should see, it's just a start.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      I believe Jay has misjudged the market though. Most people don't care about lossless audio, and won't react well to having a load of millionaire musicians telling them they need to give them more money.

  20. Waldo L Carrera
    April 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    "While higher quality streams aren’t a bad thing, most people won’t even be able to tell the difference. And the minority that can tell the difference... "
    The only part of your fairly well written article that I have issue with is the quoted bit above. I know that today a lot of people equate music with iTunes, and that is just plain sad. Highly compressed music via crappy earbuds is sad and irritating when you try to play that over an audio system. Music streaming services offer pretty much that same quality. There is a noticeable difference between a compressed music file and a lossless music file. It's the difference between watching a standard definition video versus a high definition one: There's just more (noticeably) there.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      You may take issue with that section of the article, but it's true. Most people cannot tell the difference. There's a test proving as much linked to in the article.

  21. Michael Dean
    April 4, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I guess I'm out of the "norm", because I come from the days of vinyl, where I would gladly pay twice the price of a "normal" record for a "master recording", which was thicker and sounded great on an audiophile's 500 watt sound system. I was a working stiff living paycheck to paycheck, and I meticulously kept the records clean to avoid any pops or clicks, because I loved the music. Unfortunately over a decade ago, most listeners ripping music from the likes of Napster, have created a "norm" of listening to heavily compressed MP3's with earbuds. Gone are the days of feeling like your in the same room with the musicians, and closing your eyes, taking in every nuance of the composition. I am one of the few, according to the rest of the comments, that will gladly pay the extra ten bucks a month, to have the opportunity to hear all of the missing frequencies removed by the compressed formats of other streaming services.

    • Lisa
      April 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      The difference between your vinyl albums and the online streaming, is that inherently, flac streamed over the internet is likely going to be eating up tons of bandwidth, only to be listened to on a non-audiophile sound card (do you have an audiophile level sound card, what about a pre-amp for your headphones, etc?)...listening on the computer, over the internet, is never going to give you true flac quality due to these pitfalls. If you could download it and play it then it would be a different story. Streaming audio, no matter how crisp or wonderful it sounds, is always prone to dropouts, pauses, slowdowns, and is not probably going to be able to be listened to on anything other than a subpar system (laptops, desktops, mobile phones). That's why this model really makes little sense.

    • Michael Dean
      April 12, 2015 at 1:23 am

      I fully understand the limitations of high sampling rates with metered bandwidth online streaming which isn't my use case. With Tidal, I typically stream with low bandwidth quality on a portable device (current iPhone / iPad) which never uses up my bandwidth allotment, even when streaming 6 hrs a day. When I find a track I like, I will add it to one of my playlists that have "offline" selected which Tidal automatically downloads the track once the device connects to my un-metered wifi at home. When I listen to my downloaded tracks with low impedance high quality headphones on a portable device, I don't need a headphone amplifier and the sound is very rich and full with a frequency range of 16-20khz, which is much more than the compressed garbage from the other streaming services. The argument of this model NOT making sense is quite frankly, nonsense.

  22. Michael Alexander
    April 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Jay-Z has made a boatload of money, so now he thinks he's smart.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      To be fair he clearly is a smart cookie, but I believe he misjudged the market on this one.

  23. NameLess
    April 4, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    You actually forgot something... hoarding these billionaire musicians to pull out their entire catalog from these known streaming sites would mark a huge hit. It would dramatically decrease their subscribers. Taylor Swift for example, I know a few had left Spotify because her entire catalog was withdrawn. Eventually, if these musicians help out each other, it would save music industry as we all know, it has been deteriorating as technology evolved.

    • Anonymous
      April 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      Your statements fails to consider artist like Taylor Swift's fans. They aren't middle age people who have the ability to spend $20 a month. They are kids, teens, and broke college students. What Jay Z failed to do was to look at his target market. His target market gets music for free and no one will choose to pay when before everything was free. If they move their music to only this platform, they could actually be hurting sales because their target market will not hear their music. This could actually do more damage to an artist career than good.Therefore, though this could be beneficial for the rich and the music industry if it had any chance of being successful, there was no market research done and there was a faulty business plan presented. This idea will not revolutionalize the music industry. It will lose investors millions of dollars.

    • Lisa
      April 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      You are spreading the falsehood that artists have been hurt by piracy. It's been proven over and over that pirates pirate, and buyers buy - whether they can get something for free or not, people make a choice. Free albums that are zero dollars to download, but released with a suggested donation, usually make millions when bands release them.

      You are saying they are forgetting something - well, people will end up boycotting artists that hold listeners hostage by forcing them to get audio from only one service, becoming a monopoly. If artists act like jerks to fans, people are going to end up dropping them or pirating instead of supporting them...

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      I wouldn't necessarily equate Taylor Swift fans to music fans. That shit isn't music.

  24. dragonmouth
    April 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    A "me too" attempt by Jay Z to get on the gravy train. He's jealous that Dr, Dre made $billions on earphones.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      I can't say I blame him. But yeah, he must be wishing he had thought of the whole stupid style-over-substance headphones idea first.

  25. Simon
    April 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    People should give Videscape a go. They stream audio and video, there is no fees to view/listen and there are no charges for people to upload their content, unless they want to upload video of more than 15 minutes or want one of the premium services on offer. They also pay fair royalties to content providers, a minimum of 1 cent per stream with a target of increasing that to 10 cents or more as advertising revenue rises!

    Unsigned or independent musicians should be getting their stuff on there, a site run by independents for independents not to benefit a few who already have more money than they know what to do with but everyone!

    http://www.videscape.com for more details.

  26. DonGateley
    April 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    And there is also the fact that so many of us want it to fail because Jay Z is a drug dealer thug (once one, always one) douchebag of the lowest genre who merely found a slicker path to wealth. Who can imagine he wouldn't still be dealing were it not for gangster rap.

    • dragonmouth
      April 4, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      "Who can imagine he wouldn’t still be dealing were it not for gangster rap."
      He could be doing time or pushing up daisies as many other dealers are.

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2015 at 3:16 am

      Shut the hell up

    • Anonymous
      April 5, 2015 at 3:17 am

      Shut the hell up asshole

    • Gaffa
      April 6, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      *sigh* ....c'mon, just say it - you can't stand seeing a successful , wealthy, black man.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Actually, I think Jay Z deserves a lot of respect for what he has achieved since he left those days behind. But that doesn't mean Tidal is any good. It isn't

    • reallyerica
      April 27, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      "Once one, always one"? "A slicker path to wealth"? As soon as you cease to deal drugs, you are no longer a drug dealer. And to abandon illegal activity to instead engage in a completely above-the-board authentically legal capitalist enterprise is not to become "slicker"--it's to become a legitimate, legal, and productive member of society. No matter what other crap you're able to imagine. Sheesh. Way to be bigoted, repressive, and backwards.

  27. paddy
    April 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I have already been told that I am way out of the norm, but I can say without a doubt that I have bought more cds since I discovered streaming audio (Live365, Pandora, podcasts, et al) than any other time in my life. There is no way I will pay for douchebaggery of this sort...I probably would not even take it for free.
    I have to agree though, Tidal is going to have to come up with something better that "owned by Jay-Z" to make it long term.

    • Hildegerd
      April 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Me too, because I am too broke to take a chance with an album I haven't already listen too. Torrent technology and free Spotify have avoided me to buy crap.

    • Michael Alexander
      April 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Hildegerd, I'm guessing an education in English also avoided you.

    • Thomas
      April 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Michael Alexander, I'm guessing being an arrogant prick obviously hasn't avoided you.

    • Hildegerd
      April 5, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Michael Alexander: Why are you being so rude to me? English is not my native language.

    • Lisa
      April 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      If English isn't your first language, the joke he made was correct. It's a joke, get over it.

    • Martin
      April 24, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Off Topic: Correcting someone's use of English, is to me, rather pedantic and small minded, and it always amazes when some one tells another person to 'get over' a joke at their expense,

      On Topic : have to agree, the pitch and the attitude is going to sink this particular enterprise

  28. Bart Vyvey
    April 3, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Your conclusion in the last paragraph is spot on.
    I only listen to spotify on my mobile devices. And that's usually without the headphones. Which gives me absolutely no reason to listen to lossless audio...

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2015 at 6:28 am

      So true, do they expect us minions to just be complete droids to their music... It's not like I am standing around waiting for them to do their next big thing. I am just trying to make it through my day with music at my fingertips.

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2015 at 7:05 am

      ... But, don't get me wrong. I am more than happy to pay for a service (especially, for my favorite artist.) However, coming from a middle class stand point... They really marketed this poorly. I also can't help but to mention that all those artist on that stage have some of the largest egos on the block ( of the things I have heard some of these artist say to the public/ social media/ fans doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies to just run out and promote this idea). I also found it odd when Madonna says something along the lines of "we are reconnecting with our fans in the way we once did". Anyone happen to notice that Madonna being the oldest artist up there is the only one who can really make that comment? Closer in age that I could let slip by with this comment, would have to be Jay-Z and it's not like Jay-z gives you the feeling of being connected to his fans. These artist need to be honest ... Why all of a sudden are they so eager now? If it is truly for the fans then why is this music service dripping in a so-called avant garde manner. It's actually kinda of insulting that we civilians are looked as some get rich scheme to them. Just Sad.

  29. kt
    April 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I love FLAC, and anything that helps musicians make a buck I'm all for. The price point is too prohibitive though for most of us working stiffs. Judging by the artists that signed up, I doubt we'll see much old school heavy metal/punk.

    • Chico
      April 6, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      FLAC makes no sense for streaming. Nobody will be able to stream away from their home network, nor will they have the technology to benefit from it. And for everyone who streams at home on their 60GB a month internet plan, they're going to see pretty quickly that FLAC isn't for them when their monthly bill goes up by $200.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      It's all a little unnecessary and expensive in my opinion.