It arrived with a grand, star-studded fanfare; celebrities, including Mr Tidal himself, Jay Z, Madonna, Beyoncé and Kayne West (he gets everywhere doesn’t he!?) lining up on a stage in New York to hail the arrival of Tidal* It was like a gathering of music’s Avengers.
I mean, look at them, they look delighted to be there…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love celebrities just as much as the next person (Ok, the chances are that I probably love them a lot more *stands up and raises hand* “My name is Jeanette and I am a celebrity junkie!”)
Anyway, put those artists together, couple it with the right soundbites, cue Jay Z talking about how Tidal will bring the fans closer to their idols, rake in lots of press coverage, and surely you’ve got yourself a formula for success – right?
So, where did it all go wrong?
Let’s start with the social media campaign. Now be honest, if you saw the following status updates on Twitter what would you think?
Possibly a Band Aid style charity concert?
…or maybe a clean water campaign?
Sorry! Wrong on both accounts…
The blue profile picture was as much about water as Agent is about spies.
Instead, this was a campaign that cleverly ensured all of these musical ‘big hitters’ turned their profile pictures blue in support of this ground breaking announcement. Throw into the mix the fact that Beyoncé hadn’t tweeted since 2013 and it was hard to deny that something big was bubbling… Tidal was coming.
Moving on to the launch that got people talking for all the wrong reasons…
A couple of sweeping statements (step forward Alicia Keys) that Tindal is “to forever change the course of music history.” And (your turn now Jay Z) “the current system of compensating artists is criminal” you are certainly guaranteed to be in the spotlight.
By directly declaring war on such well known platforms like Spotify, you’re bound to attract some media attention! However, the fact that Tidal is more expensive than its competitors and with profits going straight from the fans pockets back to the artists; providing them with more money than the obvious peanuts that Spotify offers them, just serves to highlight what a good deal (insert sarcasm) consumers were getting with other streaming services. In short, the public would rather the money sit in their bank accounts than the poor artists’.
With a disastrous launch campaign under its belt, Tidal has now been labelled as a ‘flop’. Less than a month after its high profile launch, the streaming service has dropped out of the iTunes top 700 downloads. With one bad press article after another, has Tidal been written off before it even began? Don’t count on it.
In the words of Oscar Wilde:
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
And you can certainly say that Tidal is being talked about.
*‘the first music service with High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and Curated Editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.’(Just in case you didn’t know!)