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Jay Z: Tidal isn't sinking

Barry Collins
27 Apr 2015
Tidal
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Tidal has 770,000 subscribers already, claims rap star

Jay Z has hit back at reports that his Tidal streaming service is struggling to attract subscribers. A phalanx of A-list music acts - including Madonna, Kanye West, Usher and Daft Punk - joined Jay Z last month for the relaunch of Tidal, which is distancing itself from Spotify by promising to return more of the revenue it generates to artists.

Reports last week suggested that Tidal's relaunch had been disastrous, with music fans not particularly enamoured with the idea of making a pack of rich music stars even richer. BGR.com described the service as a "flop", with the Tidal app falling out of the top 700 in the US iPhone chart, whilst established rivals such as Spotify and Pandora remained in the top five.

However, the rap star has taken to his Twitter account over the weekend to defend his company. "Tidal is doing just fine," he tweeted from his @S_C_account, which bears the initials of his real name, Shawn Carter. "We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month." That last line is a little disingenous, as Tidal was actually launched last October, before being rebooted at the end of March. It's not clear how many of those were existing subscribers, nor how many are simply engaged in the 30-day free trial that Tidal offers. 

Jay Z went on to plead for the service to be given a chance to grow. "The iTunes Store wasn't built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful," Jay Z continued, before accusing "big companies" of running a "smear campaign" against Tidal. "We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan."

Clearly stung by the accusation that Tidal merely exists to make him and his friends even richer, Jay Z tweeted. "Rich getting richer? Equity values... YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million."

"Tidal pays 75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers - not just the founding members on stage," he added. 

Tidal is available in the UK, costing £9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial, or £19.99 for "lossless" quality music.  

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