The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – New music service causes strain between artists, fans

By Jamil Oakford/editor-in-chief

Online streaming of music is a fairly new idea, but it’s spread quickly. With its free aspect, it has allowed music to spread fast and to new audiences. 

But the new online streaming company that just hit the market called Tidal, owned partly by Jay-Z and backed by at least 16 other important and popular artists in the industry, may change the game completely. In fact, it already has.

Despite Jay-Z’s claims that this site and this effort is made to help bring power back to the artists, this venture has left a stale taste in nearly everyone’s mouths.

Besides the lack of a free tier in Tidal, forcing people to pay $10 to $20 a month for the service, it becomes painfully obvious to both fans and onlookers that this is a business deal.

And strangely, Tidal has the support of Taylor Swift, the valiant warrior against Spotify. She not only took all of her albums off Spotify, but she’s put them on Tidal (with the exception of 1989).

Some have speculated the artists aren’t satisfied with the royalties earned off of Spotify.

A chart in TIME showed how much artists can make off of how many times their songs are streamed. For example, Swift, whose song “Shake It Off” has earned over 46.3 million streams, received anywhere between $280,000 and $390,000 in October.

But Swift isn’t the only one who’s pulled material from Spotify. Jay-Z pulled his most iconic album Reasonable Doubt and put it exclusively on Tidal for stream.

And to pour salt in the wounds of those who can’t afford to pay the monthly subscription, Rihanna released new material for a song entitled “American Oxygen” exclusively on Tidal.

Maybe Tidal wasn’t just an airing of grievances between well-paid artists who just want bigger pieces of the pie. After all, there’s no telling how much money an artist actually sees profitwise. But shaking down fans in an industry that’s already struggling to convince a new generation to buy full albums seems like a terrible move.

As pop singer Lily Allen predicts in a Twitter rant, people will swarm back to pirating, and it’s already happened with “American Oxygen.” If anyone looks hard enough, they can find a full four-minute version of the Tidal exclusive online.

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