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Tidal: “The Inmates Are Taking Over the Asylum”

In 1919 four film industry pioneers formed United Artists. Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks, and Griffith decided they had had enough of non-artists working with their art and they took control of their careers. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost 100 years since then, but something similar is bubbling up in the music industry.

Meet Tidal, Jay-Z’s new streaming service. He has given 16 notable names (and maybe more) equity in his new company to join him in his streaming revolution. Maybe you’ve heard of some of these people? Kayne… Madonna… Two punks named Daft.

First, let’s all thank Jay-Z for not calling his company TIDL or something missing vowels—we’ve all had enough of that. Secondly, and seriously, THANK YOU, Jay-Z, for doing this. It’s too soon to tell if this will be the solution to the royalty gouging streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, but we can only hope that it is.

I am in an interesting position ­ ­—I walk both sides of this line. I thoroughly enjoy my $9.99 a month subscription to Spotify, but, when it comes time to do royalties for my artists, when I see something has been streamed 6,000 times and they get $30—I throw up a little bit in my mouth. The model is broken and I can only hope it’ll be artists that fix it.

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