Jay Z took to Twitter to defend his new streaming music service Tidal, after news reports suggested that the app was slipping into early oblivion.
In more than a dozen messages posted in rapid succession, Jay Z, the rap star and entertainment mogul, defended Tidal’s performance.
“Tidal is doing just fine,” he wrote, noting that the company has “over 770,000” subscribers. “We have been in business for less than one month.”
Jay Z paid $56 million for Tidal's parent, the Swedish company Aspiro. Aspiro reported that it had 500,000 subscribers in more than 30 countries at the end of 2014 for its music services. Jay Z has positioned Tidal as an artist-friendly outlet for exclusive content, and one that would be majority-owned by artists. Among the initial group of co-owners were Madonna, Kanye West, Beyonce and Alicia Keys.
The announcement drew complaints from some other artists, like the band Mumford & Sons, whose members mocked Tidal’s celebrity backers as “plutocrats” in an article in The Daily Beast. Last week, Tidal was the subject of more bad publicity when technology bloggers noticed that it had fallen below 700 in Apple’s app store rankings. Just days before, the company had announced that it was replacing its chief executive and had also laid off about a dozen people.
In his posts, Jay Z accused unnamed companies of “spending millions on a smear campaign” against Tidal. He defended its business model, noting its use of video, exclusive content and experiments like giving fans early access to concert tickets. But he also asked for patience. “We are here for the long haul,” he wrote. “Please give us a chance to grow & get better.”
The New York Times