Tidal; music streaming… for what?

So, the music business must be struggling, right? Why else would the big corporations be setting up premium-cost streaming facilities?

The newest on the block is, of course, Jay-Z’s TIDAL which will set you back around £10 per month for the ‘service’.

When I heard about this I rolled my eyes. In an age where music is much more accessible the need for these sorts of services seems to be a little money hungry.

I understand – someone’s gotta get paid. I appreciate that; artists need to make money and the increase in illegal downloads is detrimental to the cause (which is why you’ll never find me illegally downloading – support your artists, guys) but the subscription to a streaming service seems excessive. To me, anyway.

Whilst I understand the idea behind it and I understand how it might seem important to them to get the artists some damn money I can’t help but fear they’ve lost sight of a major player in this game; the listener.

It seems, to me, that these guys who are attempting to ride this TIDAL wave all the way to the bank (come on, I mean… I can’t not make a pun) haven’t even realised that they are not the only people in the music scene. In fact, with technology as it is, the Internet is saturated with so many musicians you literally have your pick of any music you want and YOU get to decide who you give money to or who you stream for free (at their allowance).

What TIDAL seems to be doing is setting up a private membership to their work which might possibly cut out Tom, Dick and Harry who all work part time, minimum wage jobs and whose other halves may not agree to spend money so frivolously.

I can see an attempt to start a trend to stream music much like people stream movies on Netflix but I’m not sure it works. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m still the sort of person who actually buys physical CD’s and gives people money on Kickstarter to record albums and, surprisingly, come away with something tangible (be it a CD to have and to hold or a download and a warm feeling that I helped someone achieve something).

Maybe that’s it, though. Perhaps this is the age of intangible products. Perhaps people don’t care about owning a product anymore.

Perhaps I’m just getting old and I don’t ‘get’ it anymore!

Sam

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