New Tidal Feature Promotes Emerging Artists
Tidal's #TidalForAll slogan may have rung a little hollow on March 30 when Jay Z and a veritable United Nations of celebrity musicians -- a group that appeared anything but inclusive -- stood on stage and launched the new music streaming service.
In an effort to combat that perception, Tidal is launching a new feature called Tidal Rising -- an addition to the streaming application that promotes rising artists: "Tidal gives voice to tomorrow’s biggest names through TIDAL RISING, a program dedicated to promoting emerging and independent artists from around the world. Every week, nascent talent in any genre will emerge."
Whether it's a concession to criticism that the celebrity-owned service is a little too self-obsessed or an actual boon for up-and-comers obviously remains to be seen. The real metric for Tidal's support of emerging artists, of course, is whether it can pay them fairly.
All this comes as the anti-Tidal chorus continues to rise. Ben Gibbard thinks Tidal already blew their chance to be artist-friendly. “There was a wonderful opportunity squandered to highlight what this service would mean for artists who are struggling and to make a plea to people’s hearts and pocketbooks to pay a little more for this service that was going to pay these artists a more reasonable streaming rate,” Gibbard said. “And they didn’t do it. That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably.”
Marcus Mumford chimed in, too. "“I think smaller bands should get paid more for [being on the streaming service], too,” he said. "When they say [Tidal is] artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists.”
And Steve Albini thinks Tidal is just a "budget version of Pono" -- occupying the uncomfortable space between Spotify, the cheapest and most convenient option for listeners, and vinyl, the default choice for collectors and audiophiles.