Music Business

David Pakman: What Jay-Z Should Have Launched With Tidal


[UPDATED] According to digital music pioneer turned venture capitalist David Pakman, Jay-Z's launch of Tidal should have sounded a something like this: “The transition from CDs to digital hasn’t worked well for the music industry…"


Guest Post by David Pakman on Disruption

(Continued)"…Sales are down and too many people listen to music without paying for it. We think that is because digital music is too expensive for the value it delivers. For too long, music has been both too expensive for fans and doesn’t produce enough money for artists. We wanted to completely change the game. So we did.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.57.04 AMWe, the sixteen superstar artists on this stage, used our incredible power and leverage over the music industry to demand completely new economics from the labels and publishers. So today, we are launching Tidal5. For $5 a month, you get music streaming of 20 million songs to any device. And to help artists, we are introducing the same economics as the iTunes and Google Play stores into music. 70% of all Tidal5 revenue will go to the artists and 30% will be split among the operations of the service and to the labels and publishers.

We wanted to find a way to attract more buyers into digital music and we knew the only way to do that was to get prices much lower. That’s a gift to our fans. But we also needed to get way more money into the hands of the artists. And we did that too. We used our power for good. And we hope you enjoy it.


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  1. Until the Indie Artists Bands Labels have ownership of the distribution they’re just running down blind alleys with no exit plan. And digital alone is not even a plan. So what’s not being talked about is who where and how are you Distributing this release? Considering that Distribution is King in every other industry — why is it swept under the carpet in music???
    Let’s face it The Majors Suck. YET still make billions and it’s easy; Since their only true competitors fight over digital change and cant get on record plants for vinyl so maybe a cassete. Meanwhile the Majors are still selling entertainment in every format.
    How many coming on BLU-Ray or DVD commercials have you heard this week alone. (About 17,400,000 results (0.39 seconds) is what I got with a Google Search. ERGO Yes the Majors still do physical and when Indies don’t they leave over 50% of the sales off the table and of those CD are still 90% of physical configurations. Hence how Majors make billions and indies make a few hundred million and digital only get .000000016/ three downloads with, followback on social media site and give us your music.
    Procotor HOC the Hallibutronization of entertainment was so simple that a bill in Congress called the MUSIC Act has sat since 2012 w/only one supporter.
    Makes you wonder why Congress can’t seem to support the MusicAct? Do they hate US Made Music or have been bought off by Multi-National Corporations that use the IMEX Bank for Film (not Music) exports. OPPS did I just say that…Now that I did think about it…
    Here the hard part to get and it’s happing right in front of our eyes. Last last year the USA exported -397 precent in the finished goods category. How is possible that the biggest artists in the world release records and our exports when down 400 percent.
    If we want it BLU-RAY or DVD it makes sense that other fans do to all around the world. Actually, One US artists release was reported to have sold 95k in the UK in it’s first week. Yet the USA exported how much music……negative right…
    Please visit or to learn more about these issues. And let’s stop entertaining our economy to death.

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