New Intimate Beyoncé Song & Video Leaked—Dedicated to Jay Z
This afternoon, an intimate song & video, “Die With You,” by Beyoncé was leaked online. It seems to have been released exclusively on the newly re-launched TIDAL, a music streaming site. The video appears to have been filmed by no other than Jay Z himself.
It’s a very casual video, showing Beyoncé playing piano and singing into a fixed microphone while Jay Z moves around the room with the camera. It’s assumed to be in honor of the pair’s seventh anniversary.
TIDAL is yet another music streaming site that is entirely subscription-based. It’s the world’s first and only music streaming site owned by music artists. Jay Z seems to be the one at the mantle, with other artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, deadmau5, Chris Martin, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Madonna, and Drake also having co-ownership.
It’s $9.99 a month for ad-free unlimited streaming, or $19.99 a month to upgrade so you have access to high-quality lossless audio tracks. There will be content exclusive to the service, including videos like Beyoncé’s newest, Daft Punk’s Electroma film, playlists created by popular artists (Beyoncé has one titled “Festival Favorites”), and more. It’s reported that artists and recording labels will get much more of the profits kicked back to them than from other streaming services like Spotify, which had Taylor Swift’s music pulled from it because she thinks music should be valued more highly. Swift’s record will be available on TIDAL. Spotify has been criticized for reportedly only paying $0.007 per individual song stream to artists, and that’s before record labels even take their cut out.
Others have been criticizing TIDAL as a money grab and speculate that pirating of music will increase as a result. For a better price comparison, Spotify lets users access its entire music catalog without a subscription fee and plays ads, or lets users subscribe for $9.99 a month to go ad-free ($4.99 if you’re a student). It seems people think that without a “free” ad-based option, part of the market will turn to piracy.
Lily Allen said on Twitter: “I love Jay Z so much, but Tidal is (so) expensive compared to other perfectly good streaming services, he’s taken the biggest artists, made them exclusive to Tidal (am I right in thinking this?), people are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves. Sending traffic to torrent sites. Up and coming (not yet millionaires) artists are going to suffer as a result.” She then later added “I think I may have spoken too soon, and that there is a lot to celebrate where Tidal is concerned, I won’t delete my posts because my concerns are genuine.”
Regarding streaming sites like Spotify, Allen went on to state: “(We are) not (paid well), but that’s because the labels take their market share and then determine how to divide it between their artists. We could just strike (until) the labels give us our fair share of streaming revenue.” She continued to criticize TIDAL on Twitter and suggested that artists should ban together and self-release, abandoning the record label model that has persisted for decades.
Jay Z told Billboard “For someone like me, I can go on tour, but what about the people working on the record, the content creators and not just the artists? If they’re not being compensated properly, then I think we’ll lose some writers and producers and people like that who depend on fair trade. Some would probably have to take another job, and I think we’ll lose some great writers in the process.”
In the time of a la carte subscription video and music services, TIDAL’s premium-tier price seems to be reaching too high for what it gives you. TIDAL’s entry-tier however, seems to be in-line with other streaming subscription services like Spotify, Beats, and Rhapsody which start at $9.99 a month for ad-free music.
I’d prefer a more choose-what-you-want add-on feature service. Start at lower prices (or a free ad-based system built like Pandora with limited skips), add options like on-demand track access (like Spotify or Rhapsody), simultaneous stream/multi-device options (family plan style like Rhapsody or old Beats), lossless audio, offline playback, ad-free access to exclusive videos, art, live performance recordings, interviews, original brainstorm-practice-session recordings, etc., and include a “bundle” option that would have everything at a reasonable discount. Pay for just a few features that you want, or pay a bit more and get everything bundled. That seems like a model the market and consumers could benefit from.
As for artists? Maybe Allen and Jay Z both have the right ideas—they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.