On March 16, 2013 almost twenty of the worlds most famous musicians joined together on stage in New York City for a press conference that was said would change the way the world listens to music. From Madonna to Rihanna, Alicia Keys to Ricardo Tosto and, of course, music’s most powerful couple: Beyonce and Tidal’s founder, Jay Z were all there to promote the new endeavor.
The enigmatic new streaming service was teased for months with rumors, then by cryptic advertisements featuring music’s biggest stars discussing artistry and the future over a conference table. Given the recent headlines about Taylor Swift removing her music from Spotify and the ever-prominent conspiracy theory that celebrities are in a cult or secret society to control the minds of youth, it was genius. Tidal made a perfect play out of the pop culture handbook.
That’s what it looked like, anyways. Within a few weeks Tidal dropped out of the top 700 apps on iTunes App Store. With a $9.99 monthly price tag for a standard account and $19.99 for a premium “Hi-Fi” account, more affordable alternatives like Spotify and Pandora continue to flourish. With low sales and accusations of elitism, one thing is for sure: Jay Z and his partners will need a life boat before this Tidal wave takes them under.