Jay Z fires back at Tidal criticism, reveals 770,000 subscribers

Music streaming service Tidal dropped out of the top 700 apps in the US and top 500 apps in the UK last week, but Jay Z is not convinced the service is finished.

In a flurry of tweets made on Sunday evening, Jay Z said that Tidal is running smoothly with 770,000 subscribers and plenty of new features coming soon.

That is 600,000 more subscribers than when Jay Z originally bought Tidal from Swedish company Aspiro for £40 million, although still 14 million behind Spotify’s own subscriber base.

Jay Z pointed to the fact Spotify took nine years to become as successful as it is today, and iTunes “was not built in a day,” although it did show promising results in the first few months.

He then went on to reference exclusive music concerts, live sports, tickets for early events and other opportunities for fans, claiming that Tidal was in it for the long haul and “not anti-anyone, pro-artist and fan.”

Tidal also gives 75 per cent royalties to artists, although it is still unclear whether that’s artists or labels - we would assume labels. Jay Z also said indie artists keep 100 per cent of their work, cutting out the middleman.

He also shot two remarks at the tech industry for organising smear campaigns, and claimed that YouTube, Apple and Spotify were all billion dollar corporations, while Tidal is a £40 million acquisition focused on artists.

Jay Z even went further, stating his brother was in Nigeria searching for local talent, and Tidal X offers a unique place for indies to become successful.

All of this is great stuff with the current media attention, but it still doesn’t answer the fact many artists claim Tidal is dishing out the same revenue share as Spotify, or the fact exclusive albums and concerts may in fact hurt the industry, as more people move back to piracy.

At over three quarters of a million subscribers, Tidal is a relevant platform now, although whether it can remain relevant as Spotify eyes up an IPO and Apple plans to launch Beats Music in the summer is another question that remains unanswered.