Artists seek greater control over music

Jay-Z recently acquired Tidal, a music streaming site.
Jay-Z recently acquired Tidal, a music streaming site.

By Ellie Schuckman Opinions Editor

Just last week, big name artists in the music industry launched Tidal, a new, online music streaming service designed for them to have personal control over their creations. While many view this as simply another way for the rich to get richer, some have questioned its viability with a rise in free music streaming.

In recent years, there has been much debate over streaming music online and how much profits actually go to the artists. Tidal, which was just bought out by a company controlled by rapper Jay-Z, aims to give artists the say in how their music is played, with more of the profits from subscriptions going to them — not to their labels.

It is important that artists are paid for the work that they do. However, fans are the ones supporting them in the first place. Without a loyal support system, all of those top-name artists would have nothing.

Even while making millions of dollars through proper album sales and viable music streaming sites, such as Spotify — which forces customers to pay for certain subscriptions — they still want more.

Not every fan can afford to spend hundreds of dollars to listen to the music they like. Artists must be understanding that sometimes a free venue is needed for their music.

For some musicians, Tidal is viewed as the new way of ensuring they are properly compensated. Just a few of those teaming up with Jay-Z are Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj.

The buyout comes after a few months of artists complaining about just how their work is seen to the public.

“People are not respecting the music, and (are) devaluing it and devaluing what it really means,” Jay-Z said in an interview with Billboard. “People really feel like music is free but will pay $6 for water.”

Famously, Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify and all non-licensed Youtube channels after the company refused to remove her tracks from its “free tier,” according to theguardian.com. Though she faced severe backlash from many, pulling her songs forced fans to buy her album through the proper channels.

While artists naturally should have the right to get properly compensated for their music, certain venues must be available for the public to still play, and enjoy their songs.