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Tidal Streaming Service...

SanDogWepsSanDogWeps Limerick MongerSan DiegoRegistered User regular
edited March 2015 in Debate and/or Discourse
So Tidal was announced yesterday...

A painter creates a work of art, hangs it on the wall, and declares "That is a $10,000 painting." It hangs there collecting dust for 5 years until he finally parts with it for $250. How much is that painting worth?

A photographer declares "I am going to charge $5000 for my wedding photography services" but no one will hire said photographer for more than $500. How much are those services worth?

A store has a pair of pants on the shelf for $100, but sale after sale happens until finally they are bought for $12. How much are those pants worth?

A game designer creates a mobile game and prices it at $2.99 per download. It doesn't sell until the price point reaches 99 cents. How much is that game worth?

A recording artist declares their music is going to be $20 per month. People flock to other services that are ad supported and highlight considerably less pricy musicians. How much is that entertainment worth?

Mind you, Range Rover has proven that some people are willing to pay $60k for $20k worth of parts, and Kanye West has proven that some people are willing to pay $100 for a plain white t-shirt, so some slop needs to be factored in to account for present day Pet Rocks. The consumer is the deciding factor on what a thing is worth, not the creator. I say that as a creator. How much is a person willing to pay for your product or service? It is a buyer's market out there. I am very curious how this will all play out...

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Posts

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    So Tidal lets you stream anything you want? Basically it's Netflix for music?

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  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    I need more information...

  • abotkinabotkin Registered User regular
    I was watching the video in the link, but I couldn't focus because all I could think about is how odd it is to see Deadmau5 and Daft Punk in their full getups outside of a performance.

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  • SanDogWepsSanDogWeps Limerick Monger San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Like Pandora or Spotify - artists sign on, release their music on the service, get paid on a per-stream basis. Tidal claims to be more artist-friendly, and will have some more first couple of month exclusives (think some game being PS4-only for three months before hitting PC and XBOX One).

    I say all this as a guy who has all of his Bad hair 80s music ripped from CD to my hard drive. And for some (very dumb) reason still has all the CDs.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Probably not something I'll really get into, because I'm super cheap. Pandora's free service allows me enough customization to feel like I'm picking my music, and that's fine. If I really want to hear a particular song, I'll YouTube it. If I really dig an artist, I'll buy the album.

    But then I tend to listen to music as background noise.

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  • T-boltT-bolt Registered User regular
    I don't see this really any different than any other subscription-based streaming service. It's not like every artist on there will own a part of the company, just some artists who bought a stake in it. The subscription model sounds a lot less exploitative than ad-based streaming revenue, but I vastly prefer buying music. Unlike TV shows/movies I value replayability and not losing access to the music if some artist drops a streaming service.

  • Xavier1216Xavier1216 Bagu is my name. Show my note to river man. Greater Boston AreaRegistered User regular
    I've never listened to the likes of JayZ, Beyonce, or Taylor Swift anyway, and I certainly wouldn't start now, so I'll stick with my Spotify subscription. This just sounds like a bunch of millionaires whining that they didn't make more millions to me: I have no reason to believe that this move is being made to improve the music industry as a whole over just improving their bank accounts.

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  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist กรุงเทพมหานครRegistered User regular
    I read the link in the OP, but besides that and seeing a few headlines on other news sites know little about this. However, the first thing that jumps out at me is that there are quite a lot of big names all together at that announcement. That seems to indicate there's quite a bit of organisational weight behind this.

    Anyway, not all artists are created equal. I don't see how this could really do much more than turning the 'artists' in the lead of this project into the machine they're railing against, Animal Farm style.

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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    So, does the service promise any innovation for the consumer? Or is it just an attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube by trying to cripple Spotify by pulling out/exclusivity windows and giving the exact same (or likely worse) service but charging more money?

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    So, does the service promise any innovation for the consumer? Or is it just an attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube by trying to cripple Spotify by pulling out/exclusivity windows and giving the exact same (or likely worse) service but charging more money?

    They claim that the music they stream is higher quality than the competing services. Whether you give a shit (or whether it even matters depending on how/when/what hardware you listen to music on) is up to you.

    Otherwise, just seems like a bunch of very well paid artists that decided they want to be paid more for their work. I don't see anything wrong with that, but I also don't care enough about any of the involved artists to pay more than I am now on a competing service.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Higher quality streams, lel.

    Likely unnoticed, potential downsides, easily matched by competitors if it is a relevant factor.

  • Panda4YouPanda4You Registered User regular
    If I wanna pay artists I use bandcamp, which I just did.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    A big issue is that use patterns for video versus music are much, much different. I get mildly annoyed when my video content is splayed across three or four services, but since I'm usually going to watch a single movie or single show in a sitting it's not a huge deal. But I like to listen to "all the music" in many contexts, I don't want to have to choose which artists' service I want to listen to on a given commute. I just want music. I want to be able to shuffle and have all of it in there. It's frankly why I'm back to just listening to my own tracks rather than Spotify.

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  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    If the "artist/stakeholders" can pull out of spotify and actually make more money on this thing by reducing the label's cut, and opening it to smaller and newer artists, that'd be rad. If they can sink spotify a bit by pulling off a ton of the most popular stream artists, that'd also be rad.

    But as it stands it just seems like a weird vanity project from a bunch of rich people, most of whom aren't exactly genre-defying anymore. I hope it works out, because I don't exactly care for what spotify is doing to the industry, but they're going to have to go a little further than signing the declaration of ballin'.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    If the "artist/stakeholders" can pull out of spotify and actually make more money on this thing by reducing the label's cut, and opening it to smaller and newer artists, that'd be rad. If they can sink spotify a bit by pulling off a ton of the most popular stream artists, that'd also be rad.

    How would this be rad? In what way do consumers benefit by having music fragmented across multiple competing services? Unless RAD is an acronym for Rentseeking Assholes Delight, this would not be rad for the 99.9%+ of the population who are consumers.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    If the "artist/stakeholders" can pull out of spotify and actually make more money on this thing by reducing the label's cut, and opening it to smaller and newer artists, that'd be rad. If they can sink spotify a bit by pulling off a ton of the most popular stream artists, that'd also be rad.

    How would this be rad? In what way do consumers benefit by having music fragmented across multiple competing services? Unless RAD is an acronym for Rentseeking Assholes Delight, this would not be rad for the 99.9%+ of the population who are consumers.

    I don't know that consumers benefit any more from Spotify dominating the market than they do from the fragmentation, though. Convenience, sure. But then you've got reduced incentive for Spotify to improve (selection, interface, etc.) and while it might benefit my pocketbook for Spotify to dictate terms to artists it may or may not benefit the quality of the product.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    mcdermott wrote: »
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    If the "artist/stakeholders" can pull out of spotify and actually make more money on this thing by reducing the label's cut, and opening it to smaller and newer artists, that'd be rad. If they can sink spotify a bit by pulling off a ton of the most popular stream artists, that'd also be rad.

    How would this be rad? In what way do consumers benefit by having music fragmented across multiple competing services? Unless RAD is an acronym for Rentseeking Assholes Delight, this would not be rad for the 99.9%+ of the population who are consumers.

    I don't know that consumers benefit any more from Spotify dominating the market than they do from the fragmentation, though. Convenience, sure. But then you've got reduced incentive for Spotify to improve (selection, interface, etc.) and while it might benefit my pocketbook for Spotify to dictate terms to artists it may or may not benefit the quality of the product.

    You can have competition without fragmentation. It just requires you to innovate beyond a higher max bitrate than what your competitors offer-many of whom's customers don't turn the rate off the default medium to begin with.

    If you want to look for reduced incentive to innovate exclusivity is pretty much the king of innovation killing, and seems to be the core selling point of Tidal.

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  • ameybesameybes vvvv MERBERNRegistered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Unlike Spotify & Deezer, it seems like you can't integrate mp3s you already own with Tidal playlists. Bit of a killer for me, however much I like the idea.

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  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    If the "artist/stakeholders" can pull out of spotify and actually make more money on this thing by reducing the label's cut, and opening it to smaller and newer artists, that'd be rad. If they can sink spotify a bit by pulling off a ton of the most popular stream artists, that'd also be rad.

    How would this be rad? In what way do consumers benefit by having music fragmented across multiple competing services? Unless RAD is an acronym for Rentseeking Assholes Delight, this would not be rad for the 99.9%+ of the population who are consumers.

    In what way is it rad to create a market where only the most bland and accessible musicians with the widest have any shot at making a living soley off of their craft? In what way is it rad for labels to continue to take the lion's share of profits right from artist hands? In what way is it rad to completely devalue art? This is what spotify does right now.

    I am no fan of the streaming market, and right now the only people it works for are consumers and the major labels (and potentially a handful of massive superstar artists for whom it acts more as an extension of radio). But it is in no way a sustainable platform for musicians, especially for smaller acts with cult followings and new up-and-comers in genres that don't crack the top 40. I want the market to continue to work in a way that incentivizes musicians to create their best work by allowing them a chance to live partially off of album sales without having to depend solely on touring and the vinyl & collector's markets (which I think are plateauing right now).

    Spotify is basically a race-to-the-bottom for musician's wages, and that's kind of fucked up. I don't agree with the dissolution of worker's rights and wages in other industries, and I am not going to let it fly here because it's cheaper or more convenient for me.

    Edit: I don't mean to sound like a dick here, but I get very frustrated by this situation. If Tidal allows the artist/stakeholders to eventually circumvent their relationships with their labels/publishers over time, then that is a rad situation that actually empowers artists by removing money from labels that are no longer offering much of a service and putting it directly into the hands of the people who create the content.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    How is this subverting the labels exactly?

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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited April 2015
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    How is this subverting the labels exactly?

    Famous recording artists with too much money no longer need to start one, help lesser know artists get started by providing them with money up front and production talent, to make even more money from the work of those lesser known artists.

    Now they can just buy a chunk of tidal.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    If the "artist/stakeholders" can pull out of spotify and actually make more money on this thing by reducing the label's cut, and opening it to smaller and newer artists, that'd be rad. If they can sink spotify a bit by pulling off a ton of the most popular stream artists, that'd also be rad.

    How would this be rad? In what way do consumers benefit by having music fragmented across multiple competing services? Unless RAD is an acronym for Rentseeking Assholes Delight, this would not be rad for the 99.9%+ of the population who are consumers.

    In what way is it rad to create a market where only the most bland and accessible musicians with the widest have any shot at making a living soley off of their craft? In what way is it rad for labels to continue to take the lion's share of profits right from artist hands? In what way is it rad to completely devalue art? This is what spotify does right now.

    Niche products are as a rule not wildly profitable and why should they be. Also 'devalueing' art is pretty much horse shit. Arts value is exclusively subjective. What intrinsically makes Norwegian Orgasm+Torture EDM Vol 2 less or more valuable than 1989?

    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    I am no fan of the streaming market, and right now the only people it works for are consumers and the major labels (and potentially a handful of massive superstar artists for whom it acts more as an extension of radio). But it is in no way a sustainable platform for musicians, especially for smaller acts with cult followings and new up-and-comers in genres that don't crack the top 40. I want the market to continue to work in a way that incentivizes musicians to create their best work by allowing them a chance to live partially off of album sales without having to depend solely on touring and the vinyl & collector's markets (which I think are plateauing right now).

    I have seen no evidence that streaming services work to disincentivize musicians to make the best music possible. Indeed the variety and accessibility of music right now is fantastic. More over a market that works for consumers is the entire point of having a fucking market. That is a market that is functioning correctly. A market as grossly overloaded with supply- such as the music industry- in which consumers are getting gouged for $20 per CD in 1995 dollars, is one that is dysfunctional.

    What's rad is right now I can right now fire up spotify and start listening to French house music or English Punk, or Swedish death metal. 15 years ago if I wanted to hear that stuff, I'd be buying CD's at stupid prices, with an additional $10 in cost because they were 'imports'. So let me just sit here and jam out to this new song dedicated to the music industry called I'm So So Sorry The Dildo You Used To Fuck Me In The Ass With Is Broken Now.

    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    Spotify is basically a race-to-the-bottom for musician's wages, and that's kind of fucked up. I don't agree with the dissolution of worker's rights and wages in other industries, and I am not going to let it fly here because it's cheaper or more convenient for me.

    Artists aren't paid wages. They aren't employees. What rights are being violated? The right to live comfortably for the rest of your life if you make a couple albums of bluegrass-yodeling fusion?
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    Edit: I don't mean to sound like a dick here, but I get very frustrated by this situation. If Tidal allows the artist/stakeholders to eventually circumvent their relationships with their labels/publishers over time, then that is a rad situation that actually empowers artists by removing money from labels that are no longer offering much of a service and putting it directly into the hands of the people who create the content.

    There has never at any point been a greater ability for an artist to have access to the market without the need of a label/publisher than exists right now. The barrier to entry is literally a webcam with a decent microphone and a youtube account. That competing with a million other artists for peoples attention on the internet is a hard thing to do successfully is not the fault of the labels, and the difficulty of doing it perhaps means the value of the labels is being grossly understated.

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  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    How is this subverting the labels exactly?

    I don't have time today to present as much detail as I want to, but right now major labels are taking over 70% of the revenue generated by Spotify streams, after taxes and spotify's own cut. But when you're on a streaming service, when you're already well known, and with the internet allowing for surprise releases and giving artists a greater ability to distribute songs and albums independently, there's no reason for the majors anymore aside from maybe organizing radio play and physical distribution. And without the majors, artists stand to make much more and to have a direct voice in negotiating overall fees. That's the potential of tidal, although it will probably have to make it through some rough early years to get there.

    Beyond that, the major labels (including a large firm that negotiates on behalf of most indie labels) have a large amount of equity in Spotify, and receive large advances to keep their music on the service with every contract renewal. And they're still not seeing the growth or success they expected from streaming, with some of them currently trying to force spotify to limit its free service as part of re-negotiations. And in most cases it's these labels that get to decide whether or not an artist's music goes up on streaming services, meaning that a lot of artists don't necessarily have a choice to pull their music unless they have a strong relationship with their label, truly are their own label (Radiohead), or have a great deal of sway within the industry (Taylor Swift). Keep in mind that many vanity labels owned and operated by artists aren't actual labels in the true sense, and have publishing and rights deals or are actually sublabels of the majors.

    With services like spotify, artists are paid so little that it'll be almost impossible for them to live off of their art unless they tour constantly.

    Beyond that, Spotify dumped a bunch data sometime in the last year that revealed that almost all of the royalty money is going to a few hundred artists (including a number of dead artists that remain popular). I'll try to find that article and edit it in a little later.

    Spotify is horrible for artists at all levels, but great for labels who get equity in the service, massive incentive payments to keep their music on it, and the majority of the streaming fees from each song. If Tidal can eventually bypass that stuff, or at least play a more direct role in determining the actual amount that artists receive from plays, it'd be a huge win for artists.

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Is it a chance that most artists have to tour constantly to make a living and the labels and retail outlets take basically the rest of all their money?

    It was my impression that basically is the recording industry.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Okay so are you suggesting artists won't sign up to labels? Because I doubt artist already with a label can just post on Tidal and keep all the money without some contractual issues.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    How is this subverting the labels exactly?

    I don't have time today to present as much detail as I want to, but right now major labels are taking over 70% of the revenue generated by Spotify streams, after taxes and spotify's own cut. But when you're on a streaming service, when you're already well known, and with the internet allowing for surprise releases and giving artists a greater ability to distribute songs and albums independently, there's no reason for the majors anymore aside from maybe organizing radio play and physical distribution. And without the majors, artists stand to make much more and to have a direct voice in negotiating overall fees. That's the potential of tidal, although it will probably have to make it through some rough early years to get there.

    Beyond that, the major labels (including a large firm that negotiates on behalf of most indie labels) have a large amount of equity in Spotify, and receive large advances to keep their music on the service with every contract renewal. And they're still not seeing the growth or success they expected from streaming, with some of them currently trying to force spotify to limit its free service as part of re-negotiations. And in most cases it's these labels that get to decide whether or not an artist's music goes up on streaming services, meaning that a lot of artists don't necessarily have a choice to pull their music unless they have a strong relationship with their label, truly are their own label (Radiohead), or have a great deal of sway within the industry (Taylor Swift). Keep in mind that many vanity labels owned and operated by artists aren't actual labels in the true sense, and have publishing and rights deals or are actually sublabels of the majors.

    With services like spotify, artists are paid so little that it'll be almost impossible for them to live off of their art unless they tour constantly.

    Beyond that, Spotify dumped a bunch data sometime in the last year that revealed that almost all of the royalty money is going to a few hundred artists (including a number of dead artists that remain popular). I'll try to find that article and edit it in a little later.

    Spotify is horrible for artists at all levels, but great for labels who get equity in the service, massive incentive payments to keep their music on it, and the majority of the streaming fees from each song. If Tidal can eventually bypass that stuff, or at least play a more direct role in determining the actual amount that artists receive from plays, it'd be a huge win for artists.

    You didn't answer the question. From the position of a new indie artist, how does a streaming music service owned by a handful of very rich musicians differ from a streaming services owned by a bunch of extremely rich VC's?

    You keep making your 'artist' a self-contradictory mess. They are an already established artist, able to self fund production etc, able to release the album via their titter feed, where the label provides them no real support and yet are also unable to live because spotify doesn't pay them enough.


    Also the bolded is the part that makes this entire conversation so goofy. Your starting position is that a relatively small investment in time to record an album should somehow equate to a revenue stream so strong that it precludes having to continue to work in the future. I'm just going to copy what I wrote in the other spotify thread.
    I know it's been brought up before in this thread, but the entire idea of a musician being someone who makes their income primarily by selling products is historically aberrant. More over, when you look back through the decades at the kind of contracts acts got for their first 3 or 4 releases, it looks less like a historical aberration and more like historical fiction.

    The music industry as product selling industry sprung from a confluence of technological and social changes, that this 'ship units' form of it may eventually succumb to those same changes and musicians will go back to being primarily performers instead of producers is not a disastrous outcome imo.


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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    This is essentially the same problem from the Spotify/Taylor swift thread. The supporters of this move keep ascribing to it a moral purity of intent, which there is 0 evidence to support.

    It's a money grab. They-established artists- will make more money by not being streamed or by owning the streaming distribution service that streams them. How does Jay-Z owning a streaming service help a new artist? Jay-Z is just going to pay them more for their plays for grins-he's just that generous of a guy? Tidal is going to front them the tens of thousands of dollars to record and promote their first album, with no ownership rights or any of the other stuff labels do to recoup those risks?

    It's all bullshit, this is just a way for the artists who can afford it to help cut out more of the middle man and get some more feathering in their nest. And maybe they are only going to use their artificial monopoly to cut out the parasitic label, which while there may be sustainability issues for the labels to be able to take risks on new acts if the winning bets are able to flee to greener pastures as soon as they get established, is fine. But maybe just maybe some of that extra cash is going to be pried from the consumer-not that the music industry has ever done that before.

    This is very much a don't piss on me and tell me its raining situation. With the added twist that they are also trying to make me think the golden shower they are readying will somehow help the indie artist who is on fire in mid Ohio.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    As far as indie artists go I'm pretty sure Bandcamp is a more important comparison than Spotify.

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