"This is the beginning of a new world," Kanye West proclaims.
"This is a historic day," Jack White declares.
You would think that the major reveal of TIDAL, the first-ever artist owned streaming service, was going to liberate the people and now change the way the music industry caters to us. Instead, the only people that will truly benefit from it will be the already rich musicians.
As if Beyonce, Madonna, or Jay Z ever had a problem raking in millions without "taking a stand," I guess they needed more ways to.
For one, let me not act as if I am not intrigued by the service. The idea of high-fidelity streaming does sound better than standard listening, I suppose. But since when did anyone I know really have a problem with the way their streaming music already sounded? And is it worth around $20 a month to find out?
But I forgot to mention that TIDAL also offers high-definition music videos, because I guess Vevo doesn't already have enough of them that are more pristine or crisp enough.
With all due respect, TIDAL isn't doing anything to really change the way people consume music... it's simply providing another over-priced luxury item that is attempting to convince us that we are missing out.
We have seen this happen so many times that I can't even begin to count how foolish this all really is. Remember when artists were so hype about iTunes? Remember the heavy celebrity push for everyone to watch YouTube music videos? And let's not forget when many artists jumped to placing their catalogues on Spotify and GooglePlay.
All of these experiences were supposed to be the end-all-be-all for how artists can connect us with what is current. Apparently, many of the free and dirt cheap deals of the past aren't enough for them to connect to us. If we are really trying to feel the power of their artistry, we are going to have to pay a little more for the experience.
If anything, this venture does truly nothing to fix the already deteriorating state of the music industry. Album sales are dropping so horrifically, you can't even break down the statistics quickly enough. Just to put this in context: last year there were fewer albums that went platinum than the number of fingers on your hands.
But beyond the fact that albums sales are declining, please don't feel sorry for these multi-millionaire musicians who have put their capitalistic lenses on to find another way to hustle us. Artists today are more multi-faceted and business savvy than they were 25 years ago... just look at the films, magazine covers, television shows, clothing lines, and food/beverage ventures they dominate in our culture moreover than anyone else.
In 2015, a musician doesn't just make music; they make power moves that extend an overall brand. Therefore, I don't feel sorry that Taylor Swift doesn't make more money off of the music she puts out because she doesn't even plan to make her fortune just off of its sales alone.
TIDAL isn't essentially looking out for the consumer, but mainly the producer -- musicians who feel they have a God-given right to make more money because we have made them feel that damn powerful.
And my response: High-fidelity, high-definition, my ass.
By now, I would hope that we can all realize that such marketing tactics have little to do about gearing us towards a better experience, but more so about feeling cool and relevant with such products.
It's the same type of coolness some of you felt when you spent over $200 for a pair of Air Jordan's or Beats by Dr. Dre or any other device/service that was going to change the face of its industry.
And this is one of those moments. Because sadly, the best artists in the music industry could only get together to find a way to make more money off us than to fix more pressing world problems or just give us something collectively free for a change.
But I know that these thoughts will fall on many deaf ears. I predict that TIDAL will most likely surprise drop Rihanna's new album and/or Kanye West's and make the whole world run towards subscribing to the service immediately. I can also see many musicians vowing allegiance to this new service and pulling their content away from other free-services and placing it only there.
And as a result, many music fans will be forced to either stand in protest and miss out on these moments... or spend more money and stay relevant. Who is seriously betting on the former?
That being said, perhaps the only thing to laugh about in this matter is whether or not you are seriously buying into the hype that this will positively change the world or the music industry. I personally don't think so -- all it will do is create another way of reminding aspiring artists how unattainable their chance at reaching the top will be while the rich will continue to get even richer as the rest of us subscribe to it.
Will I subscribe? I can't decide. But seriously, if the world's best musicians really think that they are "taking a stand" by charging us more money to stream their music in the name of "high-fidelity" sound.. .then they are seriously out of touch in more ways that I ever thought was imaginable.
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