Yesterday afternoon, Jay Z continued the press run for his music streaming service, Tidal, at NYU for an informative Q&A session at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Alongside Tidal executive Vania Schlogel, Hov talked with students about the ins and outs of the company, from how it’s put together to how they handle their artist royalties different from Spotify and other services.
On the subject of royalty payouts to artists, Jay said they plan to change the industry with how they go about the system. “There is no free tier and we’ll pay the highest royalty percentage. That’s how we’ll change the industry,” Jay said. Hov also broke down the subject of indie artists getting onto Tidal, and said they are really set to push their “Discovery Program,” where major artists get to share music and other artists that they’re fans of or have come across.
A major question about Tidal has been the exclusive content that they will feature, especially with all of the major artists attached and so heavily involved. On whether or not people will be able to download or purchase said content, Jay revealed he wasn’t sure at this moment. His major reasoning was that downloads are decreasing based on their research and that they think people would rather just stream a song or album rather than download it or purchase.
Maybe the most interesting part of the discussion came with the topic of how labels would interact with Tidal and if they plan to cut any ties at all. Jay said that if an artist has a deal with a label then they of course can’t exclude the company, but he also noted that if an artist’s contract expires, they can work out a deal on their own with Tidal. As an example of this, Jay pointed to himself. “I’m on Tidal. I don’t have a record deal. So… yes.”