Yesterday was a good day for Jay Z. Well, every day is a good day for Jay Z, except I guess for the days when his sister-in-law roundhouse kicks him in the face, but still, life, on the whole, has to pretty much be an endless string of good days for Hova. Where was I? Oh yes, Tidal. Yesterday was a great day for Tidal.
When Rihanna, her generation's biggest pop star, first released her new Anti album exclusively via Tidal and gave away over one million free download codes via Samsung, it prompted a massive influx of sign-ups to the streaming service (even though a previous Tidal mistake leaked the album early). According to the company, they signed up one million trial subscribers in just a matter of hours and the album was streamed over 13 million times, exactly the boost the embattled company needed.
It's ridiculous that the RIAA is certifying Anti platinum after one day because Samsung bought one million copies up front, but whatever, we don't need the RIAA to know that Rihanna's massively popular and that popularity rubbed off on Tidal.
So that's the good news - here's the bad news, or at least the not-so-great news. Those new subscribers are all 60-day trial subscribers, and none of them had to enter their credit card information when they signed up, so they won't be automatically converted into paying customers. That means it's entirely possible that in two months Tidal would end up literally no better off than before the Anti-release.
While I have to imagine at least some portion of those million trial subscribers will become paid subscribers, it's unlikely it'll be enough to significantly help Tidal catch up to its surging competitors Spotify and Apple Music, the latter of which just hit 10 million paid subscribers.
So, by all means, Tidal employees, celebrate, good days don't come along that often. But Tidal's going to need a lot more good days like this if it hopes to become a true force in the ongoing streaming wars.