Although it's gone through quite a few shakeups of late, Tidal remains a viable candidate in the battle between streaming services for industry supremacy and, if it follows these seven steps, could perhaps still rise to the top.
Guest Post by Matt Voyno
I am excited about the music industry again. With streaming music the users, data, and money are all finally making sense. What’s even more exciting is that no one has won the game yet. Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, Google, are all in the running but I think Tidal could win the day. Although there have been shakeups at Tidal recently, for me their service has a lot of quality elements that I’m looking for. Yet still, they’re considered a long shot. Perhaps if they instituted some of the changes below they could pull it off.
1. Pay more to artists than any other streaming service
Make it a moral thing. How dare the public go with any other streaming service? If Tidal communicates to the public that it is the one giving the most to artists then it is obviously where users who care about artists should go. Moving people morally is a powerful way to build trust. Pay artists more and watch Tidal win.
2. Work with Bandcamp, CD Baby, Soundcloud and indie artists way more
It’s clear that there are many more people creating/involved in the indie, diy, amateur music scene than ever before. Bandcamp, CD Baby, Soundcloud and other such services have a ton of small artists who are left out of the streaming discussion. If Tidal embraces these huge groups of “middle class” musicians then it could be a big win for both. Plus add another notch to the belt of being a socially conscious streaming service.
3. Go physical
I’ve said this before because I’m a genius. Give everyone who subscribes to Tidal Hi-fi one vinyl record a month. Based on what they’ve most listened to that month/previous month. Make it automatic and make it a big deal. Work with artist for exclusive vinyl options that only Tidal users can get. Don’t tell me this is too hard or unrealistic. I’m tired of your excuses.
4. Integrate analytics more - aka like LAST.FM
People love analytics when they are humanized and made clear. The success of Infographics is an indicator of that. By showing people their own listening habits you can not only keep them interested and possibly on site longer, but also use this to show them more music that they would want. Yes Spotify has started to do this, but do it better.
5. Explain that you can take your music OFFLINE
When I tell uninitiated people that you can use streaming music offline most are blown away. This message has not been heard by your Mom. She needs to know and understand this. This is no fault of Tidal, more of Spotify to not communicate it properly. But once mainstream people get this the mass adoption will happen.
6. Use JayZ and the CULTURE you’ve built
Tidal is one of the only streaming services that understands culture. Even though they “blew” the release they did achieve mainstream recognition with the Culture of music. Go harder with all of that. Including getting all the musicians (owners) in the company to lead the charge in their home regions.
7. First you take Manhattan then you take the World
New York City is the greatest city in the world. Global youth culture is heavily influenced by what New York does. From clothes, art, music, buying patterns, everyone hears about what New York City does. So follow Leonard Cohen’s advice, FIRST you take Manhattan then you take the world. To be even more specific WIN OVER BROOKLYN. ONE borough, then you have the world.
Even if Tidal embraced a few of these ideas they would be in a better position for the future. They’re already in a good position to make moves quickly, implement bold strategy more easily and quickly then the democratic-to-a-fault world of Spotify, and the boring/ambivalent world of Apple Music. We’ll see how it shakes up in 2016 but another good move would be to hire me, Matt Voyno, for the Tidal position of CEO. Or whatever is above that. Send offers!