After weeks of silence, Jay Z has finally responded to the widespread criticism of his newest business venture.
Not only has TIDAL suffered from a theoretically poor initial performance but it's critics have been outspoken and, in the last few days, important supporters may have begun to jump ship. Despite having an impressive array of big name stars sign on to back the service, Jay Z's latest endeavour is not sharing the same success that projects like his fledgling record label Roc Nation have enjoyed.
Over the course of fifteen tweets, the rapper had this to say of TIDAL's underperformance:
Stream of consciousness coming in 5, 4, 3, 2… #TidalFacts
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015
Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month. The iTunes Store wasn't built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful... We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better. There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign. We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan. We made Tidal for fans. We have more than just music. We have video, exclusive concerts, tickets for events early, live sports! Tidal is where artists can give their fans more without the middlemen. Indie artists who want to work directly w/ us keep 100% of their music. "If you don't want the CEOs all in the videos" haa Tidal pays 75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers - not just the founding members on stage. Rich getting richer? Equity values... YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million. My cousin just moved to Nigeria to discover new talent. Tidal is a global company. We have Tidal X - it supports artists by giving them a platform to connect with their most loyal fans. Tidal is for all. Our actions will speak louder than words. We made Tidal to bring people the best experiences... and to help artists give that to their fans over and over again… We are human (even Daft Punk ha). We aren't perfect - but we are determined.
If you can't be bothered to sift through Jay's "stream of consciousness" (who could blame you?) the gist of his message seems to be that TIDAL will improve given time and consumer confidence which isn't an unfair statement to make. What is more problematic, however, is Carter's assumption that the general public are misinformed and therefore don't approve of the service, when in actual fact it feels more like the public understand TIDAL a little more astutely than Jay Z would care for.
Underestimating or belittling your audience is a dangerous game to play and one which won't rectify TIDAL's many problems. Jay claims that "actions speak louder than words" and TIDAL should act now before they're remembered only as a blemish on the face of Jay Z's otherwise impeccable business portfolio.