Quoted: Is Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service all washed up?

“It’s dead on arrival. Just like Apple’s new music service. Because people are CHEAP! They love their money more than their favorite artists, never forget it.”

— Bob Lefsetz, music industry consultant and blogger, in a screed railing against Tidal, the new streaming-music service relaunched by Jay-Z and other major artists Monday. Tidal says it offers 25 million songs and hopes to compete with the industry leaders. Unlike Spotify and Pandora, however, the service does not offer a free tier, instead charging $9.99 a month for a standard version and $19.99 a month for a high-fidelity version. But will anyone pay for it? Lefsetz says no, in no uncertain terms. “Right now Tidal doesn’t have critical mass and artists need other platforms to succeed” he said. “Great artists are lousy businessmen,” Lefsetz continues, saying Jay-Z is out of his league as a tech investor. He goes on to indelicately describe Tidal’s business model as “laughable,” and “raw insanity.” Gibes aside, if Lefsetz is right about the cheapness of music consumers, it could bode ill for Apple’s upcoming streaming service, which is expected to launch in June for $7.99 a month.


At top: From left, Madonna, Deadmau5, Kanye West, and Jay-Z stand onstage at the Tidal launch event Monday in New York City.  (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Roc Nation)


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