Jay Z’s press conference for his new music streaming service Tidal has drawn great amounts of criticism from around the Internet.
In a new op-ed titled “How Jay Z’s Tidal Press Conference Showed He’s Out of Touch,” posted to TIME this past Tuesday (March 31), writer Daniel D’Addario outlined the reasons as to why he believes Jay Z and the celebrities involved with Tidal’s launch did a poor job of educating the consumer on its benefits.
“The argument Jay Z and his fellow stars at the Tidal launch (including Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and Beyoncé) are making is that they deserve to set the price point for their music,” Daniel D’Addario says.
“The rhetoric around Tidal was pretty funny, when it wasn’t embarrassing,” he continues. “A promotional video showed various celebrities gathering to discuss their master plan as Beyoncé, who would seem to know better, said ‘Every great movement started with a group of people being able to get together and really just make a stand.’ From Seneca Falls, to Selma, to Stonewall, to Los Angeles, where a bunch of celebrities demanded that their fans give them more money—this country has such a rich history of protest movements.”
Later in the piece, D’Addario says that the icons involved with the streaming service’s launch did a poor job of selling the idea to consumers, especially considering today’s market where everyone is so used to listening to music for free via other platforms such as Spotify.
“Jokes aside, the celebrities at the Tidal launch press conference did a remarkably poor job of elucidating why the consumer accustomed to getting music for free should begin paying for it,” he says. “In the age of Spotify, it is entirely legal to listen to music constantly and never spend money on it. Countering that fact with the moral claim that celebrities would prefer if you didn’t stream music for free only makes sense if you believe celebrities should get everything they want, one hundred percent of the time.”
Rounding out his argument, Daniel D’Addario says that so far Hov and co. have merely invested their time introducing a product the same as Spotify, but one consumers have to pay to use.
“As for the rhetoric in the press conference that music is special and has a unique place in our culture: Music fans agree! That’s why they listen to music often, on services that provide that music for free,” D’Addario writes. “But rather than building a better system, Jay Z and friends have, so far, put their energy behind a product that’s more or less the same as Spotify, but more expensive. A product this pointless could, maybe, be sold as a charity case by artists who depend on every penny of fan support. But Jay Z, a rapper who wastes no opportunity to brag, on his records, about his business acumen, is not that figure. Based on the optics of the Tidal launch, his business acumen may have failed him this time.”
To read the full op-ed, visit TIME.
The Tidal press conference can be viewed below:
For additional Jay Z coverage, watch the following DX Daily: