So, after I and much of the music world had written off TIDAL as a failed streaming service after it was revealed they padded their subscriber numbers, in comes Sprint to buy a 33% stake in the company, making it available to their customers, and setting aside $75 million for exclusive content.
There’s few things here that are interesting to me. First is that the artist-owners of TIDAL ownership percentage was diluted as a result of the deal, which indicates that it was in such a disastrous state that they agree to the dilution. Second, if Sprint makes TIDAL available for free to their customers for more than a limited period, which is unclear at this time, that will obviously impact the major streaming services as consumers would question why they are paying for Spotify or Apple Music if they can get TIDAL for free. Third, unlike what SoundCloud is trying to say, consumers are not going to be willing to subscribe to multiple streaming services. Fourth, Sprint could take a page out of T-Mobile’s playbook and make TIDAL streams on their non-unlimited plans free from the data allocation, providing a great incentive for their customers to use or subscribe to TIDAL.
Finally, I find it more concerning than interesting that there is a $75 million fund for exclusive content. This is concerning because I don’t believe in exclusive content when it comes to music I think it encourages consumers who are paying for a rival streaming service to pirate the said content (I did it recently*) if they are truly interesting in that exclusive content. Think about it; if you’re so engaged with an artist that releases an exclusive track on TIDAL that you are considering signing up specifically for it, you are likely just interested enough to locate an illegal copy to avoid the hassle and expense of signing up for an additional streaming music service because you are highly unlikely to cancel your primary one. On the other hand, it seems like a great way for artists, specifically non-A list artists, to add some cash to their coffers. In fact, now that I think about it, TIDAL should maybe acquire SoundCloud because their unique selling proposition to artists is that they can monetize an indie artist’s music in a way that allows the artist to see a bigger check at the end of the day. This would give TIDAL their YouTube Red music streaming plus ad-free SoundCloud. You will be a gateway to indie artist who, at the moment, are probably not considering TIDAL at all.
This partnership has breathed life into TIDAL just when it began gasping for air.
*The management does not condone or support the illegal downloading of content of any kind…or whatever.
WillCollection celebrates artists and their artistry. WillCollections are records with the perfect blend of production, vocal delivery and lyrical content. You can follow and discover more WillCollections by connecting with me on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud