Tidal‘s chief investment officer and chief industry liaison Vania Schlogel is responding to criticism after the company’s star-studded live-stream debut earlier in the week.
Some fans have reportedly been upset that the announcement looked like a meeting of “music’s 1%,” where music’s superstars were just looking to make themselves richer by putting their music on the streaming site, which costs a certain amount of money per month.
“I would almost say it’s the reverse of that. Ok, these are established artists who care enough about the sustainability of the industry, stepping out on a limb and doing this. Of course there are going to be people who are cynical. But look, at the end of the day, if any established artist goes out and gets an endorsement deal — no one’s gonna criticize them for that because that’s how they make money. But if an established artist goes out and steps outside of the box and says, “I’m trying something different,” that invites criticism. There is some bravery for what these artists are trying to do. Its not to fill their own pockets, it’s to create a sustainable industry,” Vania told Billboard.
“By virtue of that definition, because that is our thesis, if we’re not treating music like a loss leader, then that’s good for indie artists, emerging artists, songwriters, producers. Music is a whole industry and it takes money. The reality is it takes money to create music. It doesn’t just happen for free. We want to make sure music continues to be made, that songwriters are able to actually write songs rather than having to say, “I do a 9-to-5 in New York, and don’t have time to write songs. That doesn’t make it a sustainable industry,” Vania added.
“I think everybody felt really great about the fact that we’ve launched Tidal, and now there’s so much more to do — we can do anything. Like ‘Hey, can we do this, can we do that going forward?’ Then we just stopped and realized we can do anything,” Vania continued. “What we’re promising to people is, ‘This is gonna continue to evolve,’ and we really mean that. We’re a young company, we just took control of it not that long ago, so if anyone is skeptical at all about, ‘Hey you don’t have that feature or that activity in it,’ just bear with us, hold, wait, be patient and invest that time because the artists, me, everyone want to deliver something that’s going to be incredible and continue to evolve.”