Most of us have probably heard of TIDAL, but most of us probably aren’t subscribed users since the ad-free, unlimited and HiFi service costs a hefty $19.99 a month. The streaming platform was launched in 2014 and holds exclusive rights to artists and their works from Kanye West and Rihanna to Jack White and Arcade Fire, all whom have endorsed the company publicly. Their aim is to separate themselves from competitors by offering “lossless audio,” high definition music videos and exclusive highly curated corresponding content. The other major component of TIDAL that made headlines and touched on copyright issues is that they claim to pay the highest percentage of royalties to participating musicians, in comparison to sites like Spotify who have gone under fire for how little artists benefit from the streaming site.
While the site has been praised for paying rightful dues to musicians it has also been scorned for the price at which this comes. Due to the high costs, but valued content, some argue that TIDAL has promoted an increase in illegal downloads and online pirate activity. If TIDAL lowered their costs and opened up their audio to the creative commons it would defeat their mission to support musicians, although most signed to TIDAL are already millionaires if not billionaires – i.e. Beyonce and JAY-Z. However, I think a compromise is possible one that would still endorse the idea of paying musicians for their music while still providing listeners with high quality content at an affordable cost, thus decreasing the need to pirate music.
Would you subscribe to TIDAL at this price?