What is the Deal with Turquoise and Tidal?
If you’re taking a look at your Twitter and see a sea of turquoise coming from your favorite musician’s account, do not panic. Don’t panic at all because it’s simply a promo for one of the biggest music startups. And this startup has one of the biggest names of music attached to it.
That name is Shawn Carter, none other than the legendary rapper named Jay-Z. And he is bringing to the forefront his startup, Tidal. It will be a web, mobile and desktop app similar to Spotify and Pandora in that it is essentially a music streaming app. One of the major tenets of Tidal is that the sound will come in High Definition.
Here is Tidal’s core message:
“Introducing the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial.”
Quite a statement, is it not?
But here is where Tidal has the advantage over its competition. One, it has the wickedly talented Taylor Swift attached to it. After taking her music catalog off Spotify, Ms. Swift was looking for a music streaming service that would grant her bigger payouts for her music. Along came Jay-Z and Tidal offering a bigger share for plays, streams and listens.
Ms. Swift is not the only one going turquoise today — Usher, Kanye West, Madonna, Rihanna, Coldplay and a host of others are representing Tidal’s colors today. And it is not just support as here is where Tidal will have an advantage over its competition. They will have first exclusive playing rights.
Tidal will have the rights to play the latest release from the aforementioned artists before any other streaming service. The deals these artist make with Tidal, gives Tidal the ability to be the “first” in streaming and it gives the artist a bigger share of the pie than it would with Spotify or Pandora.
Now the question left is whether Tidal and its owner, Jay-Z can attain equal if not a greater user base than Spotify. And that is where Tidal, despite having these huge artists signed on, has at its disadvantage. This is the startup’s big uphill climb and they are banking on exclusive first play deals to attract new users and current users of Spotify and Pandora.
Spotify’s user base is in the 10-15 million range, while Tidal is at 30,000-40,000 range.
Tidal has the name and they will receive the hype today. But in the long run, will it have a better user interface, better reliability, better customer service and most of all, a better user experience than Spotify, Pandora and other music streaming services that many users rely on.
If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. If you sign the biggest names, they won’t necessarily come. But if you make a superior product than the established giants at the game — then by all means, you have a chance. It is a gamble for Mr. Carter, it will it pay off starting today?