Win Butler, the lead singer of Arcade Fire and a co-owner of Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal, has admitted that the service’s launch was far from perfect.
Speaking to The Independent, Butler said that “none of the artists knew anything about the PR,” referring to the collection of famous people who were on stage for Tidal’s press conference in New York.
Butler went on to say that he thought Tidal’s New York event “was a poorly managed launch, but conceptually the thing that we liked about Tidal was that it’s HD streaming quality.”
Stars including Kanye West, Madonna and Daft Punk joined Jay Z on stage for the launch of Tidal, the music streaming company that he purchased earlier this year.
Despite the star power, many people criticised Tidal’s launch event. Dr. Todd Green, a professor at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University, told Business Insider that he thought Tidal’s New York event was a major mistake. “The true criticism of Tidal went back to the launch,” he said. “They started out on the wrong foot from the beginning.”
Things got worse when Jay Z gave interviews after the event. He told Billboard that “people are not respecting the music, and devaluing what it really means. People really feel like music is free, but will pay $US6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap, and it’s good water.”
Journalists and fans took to Twitter to mock Jay Z’s ignorance of the fact that people pay taxes and fees to have a company make water come out of your tap. An executive from a water company even wrote an open letter to Jay Z, reminding him that it costs money.
Elsewhere in the interview with The Independent, Butler blames record labels for Tidal’s $US20 monthly price for high-resolution music streaming. “They dictated that Tidal has to cost $US20,” he said. “The major label music industry has completely ruined every aspect of their business. At every step of the way they have had the tools offered to them to create an industry that works, and they have completely blown it.”
Tidal offers two different pricing plans: A normal, $US10 (or £10) monthly streaming service, and a $US20 (and £20) version which allows audiophiles to listen to high-resolution music. Tidal started life as a streaming service named WiMP which was targeted at audiophiles, but its name was changed to Tidal following an acquisition by rapper Jay Z in January.
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