It's a little early to write the obituary for Jay Z's Tidal streaming service. But its vital signs aren't looking good.
Thanks to a stage full of celebrity "co-owners", the app launched last month with a ton of fanfare. But it may have been those very luminaries that doomed Jay Z's baby.
Tidal's pitch was it would pay its artists more and offer listeners better sound quality. But who really cares if Madonna or Kanye West is getting more coin? And sound quality can be a complicated equation which rightfully goes over the head of many music consumers.
In an article today, the popular tech blog Boy Genius Report labeled Tidal a "spectacular flop":
Two weeks after Tidal briefly cracked the U.S. iPhone top 20 download chart, the app has crashed out of the top 700. Apparently American consumers have limited empathy towards Beyonce and Nicki. Soon after the launch fiasco, Tidal’s CEO was kicked out in a “streamlining” move. The new CEO Peter Tonstad, a former consultant for the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, has his work cut out for him.Furthermore, it turns out Tidal's been great for its competitors:
To make matters worse for Tidal, its main rivals are now surging. On April 20th, Pandora and Spotify occupied positions No. 3 and No. 4 on the U.S. iPhone revenue chart, respectively. This was the first time two music streaming services have hit the top 4 in sales simultaneously. In order to achieve the feat, Pandora and Spotify had to push out Candy Crush Saga out of U.S. iPhone top 4 revenue chart, which is a remarkable achievement.BGR's theory is that Tidal's attacks on Pandora and Spotify raised its rivals' brand awareness. And while Tidal is doing a bad job convincing folks to buy their app, it may be doing a good job of convincing folks that they should embrace the streaming revolution.
Additionally, we learned today that Spotify is now worth more than the entire music industry. This is going to be one tough hill for Hov to climb.