As of 2015, TIDAL became a subscription streaming service where people can listen to music and watch music videos. It was promoted as being the first artist-owned streaming service in which the artist would receive royalties for his/her work.
I’m yet to subscribe to such service as I don’t feel subscriptions fees are reasonable, although I do understand and agree that artists should be played for their work. Content such as Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj’s Feeling Myself official music video, as of now, isn’t freely available online. Versions of this found on online platforms have been distorted in order to avoid copyright infringement.
If this service was free, shareholders wouldn’t capitalize on it without having to resort to advertisement and sponsorships , however it wouldn’t make sense to relaunch a free access platform where people can find music and videos from their favourite artists: that already exists and it’s called YouTube. Nevertheless, if TIDAL wasn’t so expensive maybe people would engage with it more because it does seems as though it was specifically relaunched to serve people who can afford to buy expensive sound equipment such as speakers and headphones which would enable the consumer to notice the difference in quality to other streaming services.
In my opinion, if TIDAL was free, artists such as Kanye West, who has profusely promoted his latest album, wouldn’t have experienced such a low number in album sales. Were this content more accessible artist would beneficiate more with it both in financial terms, success and popularity.
Copyright exists to safeguard author’s creations so they can be accredited for their work and capitalize when anyone else is inspired and would like to create something similar.