After the intense criticism that Spotify has come under since its launch many moons ago, a lot of people questioned whether Jay Z’s new music streaming app was destined for the scrap heap. The app was launched globally by A-listers such as Kanye West, Calvin Harris and Madonna and was widely expected to mount a challenge to Spotify in the long term.
In reality though, Tidal’s performance thus far has been utterly underwhelming with it currently in free-fall down the global app charts with ITV reporting that it has fallen out of the “top 700 downloaded iPhone apps in the US.” Tidal’s supposed claim to pay better royalties to artists was seen as there major selling point however this hasn’t seemed to convince consumers to adopt the app as their go-to music streaming service.
The “high-fidelity streaming music service” was acquired by Jay Z in a partnership deal with Scandinavian company Aspiro for a reported $56 million. The app has a free subscription package as well as two paid subscription services: $9.99 (standard audio) and $19.99 (high-fidelity audio).
With smartphone usage now reaching new levels as well the ability for people to connect to the Internet on-the-go, Jay Z and Aspiro felt the time was right to enter the market with Tidal especially with all the bad press surrounding Spotify and the potential market potential. PEW Internet states that two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone as well as having connection to the Internet. The developers of Spin Genie further reported that 17% of the world’s population is now able to access the Internet via their smartphones or tablets.
Thus, it shows there is a market for Tidal, but what’s gone wrong after such a high profile launch? Is the market that saturated for Tidal to make an impression?
The senior executive of Tidal, Vania Schlogel has been on a press tour for the last couple of weeks trying to save the app from disappearing in to the abyss according to The Verge. Let’s be honest, thus far, it’s hardly “changed the course of history,” that Jay Z was reported as saying before its launch.
But with some of music’s biggest names behind the app and Roc Nation pushing hard to help the app prevail in the global market few would bet against Tidal having a change in fortunes. However, they may be another bump in the road for Schlogel and Tidal to overcome in the coming weeks. Apple is also set to launch their music streaming service soon, and the hurried press tour Schlogel has just completed may have been to try and gain Tidal some momentum before the Apple launch.
Whether Schogel, Jay Z, and his boundless A-listers can work together to help the app become a success is still up for debate. And it may hinge on the performance of Apple’s launch in the future.
Let’s us know your views on Tidal and whether you feel it has a realistic chance of prevailing in the current music streaming industry that Spotify and Soundcloud are currently industry leaders albeit at different ends of the spectrum.