There's speculation that Jay Z and Beyoncé have almost completed work on their collaborative record, which is now set to be a TIDAL exclusive.
After reports surfaced today indicating that TIDAL is losing the support of one of its most high-profile endorsers and damning tech findings surrounding the associated app's downloads were published, it seems that founder Jay Z and wife Beyoncé may have one last trick up their collective sleeve to save the floundering streaming platform.
Entrepreneur and renowned industry source DJ Skee has claimed that not only are the power couple working on a joint album but that they intend to release said album exclusively through Jay's latest business venture, despite its less than enthusiastic reception by the general public. Whilst there's little evidence other than Skee's word to support the claim, it's an idea that makes sense and (aside from their forthcoming concert) will undoubtedly be the biggest draw to TIDAL that we've seen yet.
It is, however, extremely unlikely to save the platform and could well be detrimental to both Beyoncé and Jay Z's careers. It's worth considering that the general opinion surrounding not only the service itself but the celebrities who support TIDAL is one of derision less so than indifference. Rightly or wrongly, people seem to actively see Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna et al as being consumed with self-interest and greed so lending your name to the project has fast become a dangerous game.
Obviously Jay and Beyoncé can't avoid the fact that their names are now permanently tied to TIDAL, but releasing an album exclusively through the system doesn't tackle the issues people have with how it's run. Rather than rectifying TIDAL's many problems (namely its monthly cost and overall ethos), if this rumor is true the couple will simply be putting a bandage over a bullet-hole - potentially drawing subscribers in for one record won't solve the streaming platform's PR crisis.
Moreover, you have to question the extent to which the album would actually entice new subscribers. Theoretically, most current TIDAL users will be Beyoncé and Jay Z fans (realistically other reasons to sign-up are few and far between) and they're unlikely to land a whole host of new users when the cost of a monthly membership is twice that of a standard edition LP on iTunes. You'd be a fool to believe that this idea will exponentially boost anyone's traffic other than those who run popular bit.torrent websites.
Beyoncé's most recent studio endeavour, her self-titled fifth record, is a prime example of the fact that when solid material meets innovative marketing, albums can still sell extremely well online. Despite not receiving an initial physical release, her surprise LP moved 617,213 copies in just three days. This isn't a level of success that Beyoncé will enjoy should she chose to release material through TIDAL, instead she and Jay both run the all too real risk that very few people will actually hear their record.
TIDAL may be extraordinarily misguided as a whole, but Jay Z and Beyoncé both have historically competent track records in business as much as artistry, so you'd like to hope that this rumor is just that - a rumor. However, desperate times often call for desperate measures so there is some merit to the idea that they'll release their long-anticipated joint record through their newest business venture.
Will one exclusive album save TIDAL? Emphatically not, and it might just take Jay Z and Beyoncé's credibility down with it.