Tidal Wave vs Tidal Ripple

Is the fat lady singing on Tidal already?

What’s happening (or more to the point, what’s not happening) with Tidal is a timely and often forgotten reminder that no matter how much money, fame or suction a brand has, if it doesn’t offer real utility that people can’t get anywhere else, it will struggle.


Clearly everyone is talking about music streaming but how big is it really? For a little industry perspective I chatted to my great mate and CEO of the Australian Recording Industry Association, Dan Rosen, for his thoughts on streaming – “Streaming services are the growth area for the record business. There is a Bill Gates quote that says we always overestimate the amount of change that will happen in two years, but underestimate the amount of change that will occur in the next ten. In a music context, streaming won’t be the dominate form in two years, but it will be in the next ten”.

Tidal is useful but no more so than any of the major competitors in the space, like Spotify. It’s also expensive. Can they really convince people to go from free to $10 or $20 per month for music? (According to every report we can find, Tidal have no plans for an advertising subsidised free model).

Dan adds – “It is hard to argue against the value proposition of having the entire history of recorded music in your pocket for $10 a month”.

Tidal’s big play is around exclusive content and that used to be important BUT as we all know, exclusive content only stays that way for about 30 seconds these days. As soon as something exclusive is posted on Tidal, people download it and post it on sites like YouTube where it’s instantly available for everyone else to consume for free.

It’s too early for the fat lady to sing on Tidal but I think I can hear her warming up her vocal chords backstage.

(As massive Jay Z fans we hope we’re dead wrong)

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