David Glover-Aoki

2015 pages


There's a new music streaming service called "Tidal". I only found out about it because a video about it showed up on Daft Punk's Facebook page.

The video is a bunch of millionaire musicians poncing about talking about how it's going to "change the world" and "make art available for all".

Well no. It's not. It's twice the price of Spotify, currently the #1 music streaming service. And it's pretty disgusting seeing millionaires trying to convince you that it's about "the art" and not the money.

Is this service going to help the millions of independent musicians struggling to make ends meet? No. Instead it's going to have exclusives from Madonna, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. Oh joy.

I think the music industry has forgotten what a massive favor services like iTunes and Spotify did for them. A lot of people have forgotten that before then, piracy was rampant and CD sales was falling, not because people wanted to pirate music, but because they wanted music on their computer and their iPods, and the industry response to this was to put copy protection on CDs so that you couldn't rip them anymore.

Now it's easy. You make an iTunes account, or you subscribe to Spotify, and bam, all the music you could ever want.

Until now, that is.

Now, there is "exclusive" music that appears just on "Tidal". And this won't be the end of it. Other musicians not in the exclusive Tidal club will copy the idea, and make their own isolated islands of music. (Tidal isn't even the first. Some new BBC Radiophonic Workshop music I would love to listen to is locked up inside B&W's "Society of Sound" service.) And soon, if you want to listen to whatever you want, you'll have to subscribe to a whole list of services. It's going to cost a fortune!

There seems like a simple solution to this. Oh wait, that's right, it's called "piracy".

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, music industry. You deserve your slow inevitable death. I look forward to the future of label-free digital distribution. SoundCloud, BandCamp - these are the future of music.