Yesterday, the representatives of the music industry, or more or less pop music, hosted a press conference to promote Tidal, the music-streaming service owned by the jaded, money-hungry rapper Jay-Z. They’re hoping that you’ll cancel your subscription to one of the more successful streaming services (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, etc.) and switch to their’s, but the problem is that their service is more expensive. From a logical perspective, what is the point in paying $20 a month for music you can already listen to on the radio or YouTube for free? If you ask me, the whole Tidal venture is really an attempt by greedy, bitter pop musicians to get even more money and attention.
If we didn’t all hate musicians like deadmau5, Kanye West, Rihanna, Madonna, Calvin Harris and Chris Martin et al, then the Tidal launch is bound to make us all hate them even more, and judging by the reaction it’s garnered on Twitter, I’d say that it has. Many have openly criticized the legion of pop stars for launching a campaign to make even more money than they already have, and in fairness, the big problem with this whole campaign is that all the musicians behind it are already exceedingly wealthy. Why on earth would we the people support what is obviously just a campaign to give them more money, when they already have tons of money that they didn’t even earn?
I suppose we wouldn’t hate the idea so much if the people behind it didn’t act so pretentious about it. They acted like they were going to change the course of history the entire time, but the only thing they accomplished successfully is showing us all just how out of touch they are with the real world. You just know the music industry is in a particularly sorry state when its biggest recording artists spend more time feeding their own egos than perfecting their art (if it can be called art).
The current decade has obviously not been a good time for the music industry, as people are now downloading music for free more often than they actually buy their music. Through the Tidal venture, Jay-Z is obviously hoping to make a change in the music industry, but what he doesn’t seem to realize is that the reason piracy became rampant to begin with was because of how expensive CD’s were and still are today, and many albums weren’t even worth full price. Streaming services like Spotify and iTunes didn’t completely stop piracy, but by offering a vast selection of music at a reasonable price, they helped to curb it. The problem is that the Tidal venture, by offering an exclusive library of “high-fidelity” pop music for a totally unreasonable price, is only going to end up encouraging piracy, and so Jay-Z’s venture won’t even tread water.
For me, this whole situation is what happens when the music industry stops caring about the music. I think the Tidal launch fiasco reflects an age where the music industry is all about advertising a product, and where the majority of the current generation’s recording artists now have their heads up their asses 24/7. If people like Madonna and Kanye West want to change the course of history, then they’ve clearly got the wrong idea. In fact, Tidal sounds like it might just destroy the music industry because it will only create an environment where piracy is more common. I can imagine people downloading music for free just to spite those guys.
In my opinion, downloading music for free is the way of the future. There’s no stopping it, and all attempts to stop it have failed laughably. If you can get any music you want for free, then it’s completely obvious that people are going to do it without shedding a tear. As long as that goes, the music industry will forever be at the mercy of an audience that isn’t interested in giving a bunch of wealthy snobs any more money.
Suffice it to say, this is the death of the music industry, and may the record labels rest in peace.