Music Business

TIDAL’s new free tier doesn’t have ads, so how do artists get paid?

TIDAL launched a free tier to its music streaming service yesterday that includes full access to its entire music catalog and playlists with “limited interruptions” at no cost.

But unlike Spotify and others who offer free streaming music, TIDAL’s free tier will not carry ads.

TIDAL’s free tier will have “limited interruptions” and a TIDAL spokesperson confirmed to Hypebot that they will be “TIDAL-led and not from advertisers.”

Streaming music royalties are calculated as a percentage of revenue including subscriptions and ad sales.

But since TIDAL’s free tier will have neither, how will royalties to artists and labels be calculated?

How will artists and labels get paid?

We’ve asked for an explanation from TIDAL and several of the distributors involved and will publish any updates here.

MORE: TIDAL adds direct payments, fan-centered royalties but new free tier could mean net loss for artists

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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