(image via tidalhifi.com)
On Monday, Jay Z shared his plans for Tidal with the world during a news conference in New York. Tidal, the subscription streaming service, that was recently bought by Jay Z will be majorly owned by artists -including Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Madonna, Beyoncé, and more-. The service provides songs and HD videos and will cost $20 per month for the best stream and sound quality and $10 per month for a standard compressed form. Tidal will not have a free version of the service available to the public.
Streaming music has been criticized in the past by artists like Taylor Swift for its freemium model that consists on offering access to music for customers for free and the ability to stream without advertising placements via paid subscriptions. At the launch party this week, Jay Z spoke about the dream for artists on Tidal: the product is intended to remind audiences about the inherent value of music and the idea that you should pay for artistic creation.
Here at Crimson, we wondered: have we grown too accustomed to streaming music for free? Will Tidal be able to convince users to pay for music once more? We turned to social media to answer those questions and to see how people truly feel about Tidal’s launch:
The #TIDALforALL hype doesn’t really explain why it’s so overpriced…. why is this a good value for audiophile music? Oh, it’s not…
— Tony Swish (@TonySwish) March 31, 2015
Just on Monday, more than 375,000 posts on Twitter made up Tidal’s conversation. A detailed sentiment analysis of the conversation revealed that the current sentiment is majorly negative: 53%. There are mainly three themes that emerge among users that do not support Tidal: general discontent toward it, the fact that it is too expensive, and people who believe the streaming service is just a way to make already millionaire artists richer. Many people expressed that $20 per month is way too expensive, especially when you have free access to music with other services such as Spotify. Many social users are skeptical of the product’s success: these users conveyed the idea that Tidal seems like just another way to make the rich even richer. Some respondents shared the idea that these artists should donate some the money from Tidal to cause marketing campaigns, instead of just sitting back and partaking in yet another revenue stream.
Im not gonna stop usin spotify for tidal, $20/month is ridiculous any artist who leaves spotify I can listen to their music on YouTube lmao — kendall (@hesailormoon) March 31, 2015
— Edgar Rangel (@EdgarAllanFauxx) March 31, 2015
The positive sentiment was just 17% of the total conversation and it was made up by people who support the movement as well as people who are serious fans of the artists involved with Tidal.
Art should not be free, it should be valued as the artwork it is. #TIDALforALL
— Toni Baldwin (@ToniBaldwin) March 31, 2015
As of today, there are still a lot of things unclear about Tidal’s direction and potential place in the music streaming arena. Many social users remain skeptical. The details about the ownership and royalties have not been revealed. What is clear is that there is a large number of people who do not agree with the price and the business model. It will be interesting to see if the current price point is lowered in the future, seeing how many people are not willing or able to spend $240 a year for music streaming services. We also believe that some strategic marketing tactics such as offering a free week or month of streaming when you refer a friend or actually donating some of the revenue to good causes could shift the initial public perception of this business.
To learn more about monitoring social response during a product launch, check out our blog today.