Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Jay Z Responds to Criticism of Pricey Music Streaming App

jay z grammys*Jay Z responded to the criticism about TIDAL, the music streaming app he purchased for $54 million with silent partners.

Black Twitter, fans and critics blasted high and mighty artists who focus on making money by charging them $20 for hi-definition music over issues impacting the Black community.

“What are artist gonna DO to make ME more money?” tweeted @Rebeleflor.  Jay Z responded in a Q&A from the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music earlier this week.

“I guess by having a conversation, and telling people what it is. That opinion came before we even explained what it was — “This thing is horrible! … What is it?” You know? You never hear (Apple CEO) Tim Cook’s net worth whenever he tries to sell you something,” he said.

“Steve Jobs, God bless, he had to have been pretty rich — nobody’s ever said, “Oh, the rich getting richer! I won’t buy an iPhone!” Yeah, right. It’s not about being pretentious; again, this is a thing for all artists,” he added.

He went on to compare the TIDAL app to Spotify, which charges subscribers $9.99, but artists could see more benefit in the former.

“You pay $9.99 for Spotify, so why not $9.99 for TIDAL. We’re not asking for anything else, we’re just saying that we’ll spread that money to artists more fairly,” he said.

“We’re not saying anything other than that, and we’re saying that we’re in a position to bring light to this issue. We’re using our power that way,” he added.

He commented on the backlash he received for not putting more emphasis on the social issues impacting Black people, instead focusing on music and making money.

“And of course there are greater causes, of course. This is not mutually exclusive — there are other problems, real problems going on in the world. We don’t miss the problems; we try to take care of them all,” he said.

“Imagine the President: he has to take care of ISIS, gay rights, equal pay for women, discrimination — all at the same time! So, you can’t say “You started this site when you should be out in St. Louis!” It’s like, okay, J. Cole is out in St. Louis. I wasn’t in St. Louis, but I was in the governor’s office,” he added.

“Because, we can march all day long but if the laws don’t change, then we’ll be marching again and it’ll just be a different slogan on the shirt, and that’s a greater tragedy as well. Everyone has to play their part, everyone has to do different things, and it all has to happen at the same time,” he continued.



  1. I am proud of Jay Z’s team and the launch of Tidal. I just wanted to know if they will eventually hire as many people as Apple or Google and pay well as they do. Apple has 98,000 employees and Google has 53,000 employees, plus who knows how many contractors are there. I have interviewed for these companies and they pay well. Even Spotify has 1200 employees and Pandora has 1300. So will there be employees and contractors hired by Tidal or will the artists be the only ones to be paid? I think that is the issue most people are having. Enough money can be made where all people can live well. I just finished a project at Yahoo Live and Live Nation and while I did not make as much as the CEO, the pay was very good. Is this Tidal’s goal at some point?

  2. yeah, I miss the good ole days of buying vinyl at record stores too – this downloading music represents nothing more than putting labels out of business and making the artists richer – I have yet to download one song and I never will – I will continue to listen to my vinyl and CD’s, my beloved ol skool is timeless and sufficient …

    • I’m with you rj. I’ve never downloaded music and I never will. It’s a sucker’s game. I have hundreds of old skool cds and there is nothing like popping a Four Tops or Luther cd in the player and listening to real music, real harmony and songs sung with real feeling. Like you, I’ll stick with what’s real. Why would I spend money on a worthless product when I have priceless gems, right at my fingertips?


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