This should thrill investors of Spotify. Haters gonna hate on Taylor Swift, but if you want sheer metrics, she’s your act. Swift made waves by pulling her albums from Spotify, and going out of her way to criticize the company for offering a free tier. Claiming it was unfair to artists, her decision was a test case for artists.
Could you spurn the streaming market and go with traditional album sales? In Taylor Swift’s case, the 1989 release was a resounding yes. But, why eschew technology? It has that James Dean look in its eye and CDs aren’t coming back in style anytime soon.
Enter Jay-Z. I know. You’re thinking, Jay-Z? Well the hip-hop mogul is pushing to become a billionaire, and his new music streaming company will probably get him there. His company recently bought Aspiro, the parent company of Tidal.
Tidal Music Streaming
Tidal is a high-end alternative to Spotify. Launching on March 30, it comes with a $20 per month price tag. High fidelity tracks appeal to audiophiles, and the price is right for pop stars looking to lay claim to their work.
Before you fire up Blank Space, you need to be aware 1989 will not be on the service at launch. All of her other albums will, so expect 1989 to eventually make it on Tidal.
Considering every single released from the album has been a smash hit, it’s good business to force fans into buying the album. Users may want the ease of using their smartphones, but this is pure capitalism.
Power of Taylor Swift
Spotify is entrenched in the streaming business. Apple is about to shove Beats down our throats. Is there room for Tidal? Can Taylor Swift convert her fanbase to a service that is twice as expensive?
The popular answer would be no. Pure economics. But, it’s Taylor Swift. Millions of of copies of 1989 were sold in a time when people just don’t buy albums anymore.
It’s a damn interesting experiment on the power of artists to seize control of their work back from tech startups.
Will I buy in at $20 a month? Nah, I can turn on a pop station and hear Taylor Swift on repeat. Sure, I might have to listen to Ryan Seacrest for a bit, but evidently I like to inflict pain on myself.
As for Swift? Something tells me I will be writing an article in a few months about the success of Tidal. Maybe not to the tune of Spotify, but doubting her power in the music industry is a mistake.