Jay Z has promised to change the financial model of music streaming with his new service Tidal.
The rapper has vowed to create the first major artist-owned streaming service, announcing Kanye West, Madonna and Rihanna – as well as many other members of pop music’s elite - as joint owners of Tidal.
Quoting Frederick Nietzsche, fellow co-owner Alicia Keys said at the Tidal launch last night: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Artists turned their Twitter profiles blue yesterday in support of the subscription service and helped to get the hashtag #TIDALforALL trending, which some fans said appeared more like a campaign for social justice.
I legit thought #TIDALforALL was some sort of save the world campaign, not a streaming service to make millionaire artists richer.— Daniel Paul Baptista (@dbapz) March 31, 2015
Something very wrong with presenting capitalistic ventures like #TIDALforALL as social justice movements— angela (@AngelaSwin) March 31, 2015
Fans have been quick to criticise the host of wealthy artists who have signed up to Tidal seeking to make even more money from the public.
Others among the African American community in the US have criticised the likes of Rihanna, Jay Z, Kanye West and Beyoncé who were mostly silent about issues such as Ferguson, but have chosen to promote Tidal instead.
Many were also disillusioned that a group of such wealthy and influential pop stars including Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Jack White, Deadmau5 and Nicki Minaj have chosen to promote a music streaming service instead of coming together for a more altruistic cause.
These artists can end world hunger in a day but instead they make an app to get richer #TIDALforALL— Kerri (@JoviHarmonizer) March 30, 2015
Jay Z may be hoping to create a tidal change in the music industry, but it looks like he will have a long way to go to counter audience perceptions before he can begin to reap financial rewards for his friends.
Highest earning hip-hop artists
Highest earning hip-hop artists
1/9 2. P Diddy - $60m
P Diddy's earnings came from a number of commercial deals including agreements with Diageo's Ciroc vodka, De Leon tequila and Sean Jean clothing
2/9 3. Jay Z - $60m
Unlike Dr Dre and P Diddy, Jay Z's earnings did come from musical projects thanks to his 'On The Run' tour and his growing Roc Nation empire
3/9 4. Drake - $33m
Drake made his money through sales of his latest album, a concert arena tour and endorsement deals with Nike
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
4/9 5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - $32m
The hip-hop duo were rewarded for their Grammy wins with good concert and album sales that helped them earn the number five slot on Forbes' list
5/9 6. Kanye West - $30m
Kaney's tour coupled with his marriage to Kim Kardashian translated into good figures for the self-confessed 'Yeezus'
6/9 7. Birdman - $24 million
The Cash Money co-chief continued to earn good money through his record label
7/9 8. Lil Wayne - $23 million
The rapper saw his earnings increase by 50 per cent from 2012/2013 thanks to playing 56 shows
8/9 9. Pharrell Williams - $22m
Williams has seen a huge boost to his career thanks to summer hits 'Get Lucky', 'Blurred Lines' and 'Happy'. His fashion venture also helped him enter Forbes' top 10
9/9 10. Eminem - $18m
Emimen claims a spot in the top 10 thanks to a handful of lucrative tour dates and sales from his latest album. He is also said to claim good sales from his back catalogue