Jay Z opens up to Billboard about his Tidal ambitions
"People are not respecting the music, and are devaluing it..."
In a rare interview, Jay Z has opened up to Billboard about his aspirations for the recently relaunched Tidal music streaming service, Jimmy Lovine's attempts of sabotage (no hard feelings there) and the state of the music industry today.
The rapper is keen to assert, and regardless it is clear from the business model, that this is not a get rich quick money spinner of a business. On the contrary. Jaz Z, and his top tier equity partners, which includes Madonna, Beyonce, Kanye West and Rihanna, aim to re-establish the value of music. When asked about his thoughts on the long asserted complaints from musicians that streaming has rendered music virtually worthless, the entrepreneur responded:
"That's correct, absolutely, and when I spoke to every single person involved that's what I said. Music is ... imagine your life without music. It's a very valuable part of your life, and like I said, that's why we got in this business. It seems to be going the other way. People are not respecting the music, and [are] devaluing it and devaluing what it really means. People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap, and it's good water. But they're OK paying for it. It's just the mind-set right now."
He went on to say that if the bottom-line of profits is reduced, due to awarding artists fair pay, then that is all part of the objective. It's easy to say when either way, the money goes to the owners of the business. But this could be problematic for goliaths such as Spotify who may be forced to raise their payments to artists in comparison to the new Tidal platform. Impotent shrugs from record companies will no longer suffice, and artists will see a choice before allowing permissions for their catalogues on just any streaming service.
He also revealed how Interscope records exec, Jimmy Lovine, attempted to draw away some of his key collaborators on Tidal, to his Apple streaming project. He was unsuccessful of course, and Jay Z says there are no hard feelings there.
He went on to say that he hopes to provide a platform for artists to try new things and create a creative conversation with a receptive audience. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding and only time will tell how Tidal's mission will impact the music industry, but the idea of reestablishing music's value is a worthy one. Stay tuned to Buro 24/7 Middle East for more on this story...