Earlier this year, Jay Z aligned himself with some of the biggest artists in the music industry and introduced the public to his streaming service, TIDAL. Unlike a lot of Jay’s lucrative ventures, TIDAL was originally met with criticism and talk that it wouldn’t survive, and that was before Apple Music entered the streaming wars in a huge way. But with a reported $54 million put into the company, Hov wasn’t about to let the chatter destroy his vision and so he kept insisting that the process was a marathon, not a sprint.
Yesterday, Jay made a rare Twitter appearance to announce that TIDAL has gone platinum. One paying million subscribers are currently using his service. All of the company's recent moves, such as teaming up with Prince and live streaming several concerts, have payed off, or so it seems. The fact is that the only statistic to back up this claim is Jay’s tweet. There’s just no objective source for TIDAL's numbers besides what it's owner has shared.
Even if we believe that TIDAL has one million subscribers, questions still linger. How many of them are active users that stream through TIDAL on a regular basis? Many signed up for the free trial, but did they ever cancel? Is it currently one million currently or overall since the launch? And even one million paid subscribers has TIDAL trailing all of their competition. Spotify has a reported 10 million paid subscribers, Deezer has 5 million, Pandora has 4 million, and Apple Music has self-reported 11 million paid subscribers so far.
But whatever might be going on behind the closed doors of TIDAL's board room, publicly Jay insistently is feeling optimistic about the company’s future and is ready to celebrate. And how do you celebrate when you’re Hov? With a bottle of D’usse Beyonce waiting in the other room? Probably, but he’s actually going to party with the fans.
Three words: TIDAL benefit concert. The shindig will be held at Barclays Center on October 20. All the funds raised through ticket sales will be going to the New World Foundation. Their website cites them as an organization that “builds partnerships with philanthropic allies who value the essential truth that the people who suffer injustice are crucial to overcoming it.”
Naturally, Jay Z has called in a few favors and put together an amazing line-up to entice fans to buy tickets. Are you sitting down? Beyonce, Lil Wayne, T.I., Prince, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Fabolous, Thomas Rhett, and Damian Marley are all slated to perform. And that’s not all; the legendary “and more” phrase was included on all digital signage.
For those wanting to attend, tickets are on sale now for TIDAL subscribers, and will be available October 2 for non-TIDAL members. The two ticket options are $40 and $60, but ET says you’re encouraged to pay above those marks since all proceeds are going to charity.
Not everyone lives in Brooklyn or the tri-state area, so if you can’t make it the event will be streamed through TIDAL. The fun of going to a concert without the rambunctious people.
The future of TIDAL can still be bright. If they can overcome all of the criticism and still manage to acquire one million subscribers, they’re doing something right for consumers. Jay still has a lot of competition in Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music, but there might be room for another major streaming service after all. Either way, Sean Carter’s clearly not going down without a fight.