Tag Archives: Jay-Z

Riding the TIDAL Wave

By: Dallas J. Short

It has been about eight weeks, since the mega star press conference that launched TIDAL and #TIDAL4ALL. “TIDAL is the first music service with high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and curated editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.”

Since then, people have been already saying it’s a flop, it’s dying and hurling insults. My question, have these people actually used TIDAL or is it just fun to hate on Jay Z and wish that he finally fails at something? Seems a bit too early to be writing its tombstone. I signed up for the 30-day free trial after the launch and have recently started my paid subscription. There are a few things I would like to address about the TIDAL service.

Jay Z and TIDAL never declared war on Spotify or other subscription services. He previously stated “They don’t have to lose for me to win.” TIDAL, Spotify and others might seem similar, but there are differences.

The sound quality of TIDAL is better. For people complaining about TIDAL costing more, you can pay the same price as other subscriptions and receive the same quality. You are paying extra for the higher quality, which is extremely noticeable through good speakers. I grew up spending my allowance, lunch money and whatever money I could get on music, so paying $20 a month for the high quality version still seems like I won.

The curated playlists are more intriguing. From what inspired your favorite musician, to what your favorite athlete trains to, to what a veteran journalist has created in an audio time capsule. These are not songs randomly thrown together. I’m had playlists from Angie Martinez, Elliot Wilson and the Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder playlist on repeat. “Simply the Best” is the only thing I play at the gym.

The exclusive content, songs and videos. Taylor Swift, who has her music removed from other streaming services, is on TIDAL. Jack White streamed an intimate concert through TIDAL X. Prince, who is usually anti-industry, steamed his live concert in Baltimore. Rihanna, Beyonce and others have released music exclusively on TIDAL. There is behind the scenes of videos and tours. You can win passes to exclusive TIDAL subscriber only contests. (While working on this blog, I won tickets to a private Jay Z concert this weekend, where he will only be doing his B-Sides/less mainstream songs. That alone would cost more than my annual subscription. I created a Jay Z playlist titled “Not a Businessman.”)

TIDAL gives more royalties to the artists. Support the musicians you like, let them be able to continue to create the soundtrack for your life. Yes, I have mentioned the big names and that is what will bring most people in, but TIDAL is about the music and connecting you to the artist. There are independent and underground talent who deserve to make more money from streams.

“TIDAL Discovery is the place for the up and comer. The new kid on the block. The unsigned. The undiscovered. In partnership with PHONOFILE and Record Union, TIDAL Discovery is bringing you the new place to come together. Supported and encouraged by the biggest names in music. With TIDAL Discovery, unsigned artists can upload their original music using PHONOFILE or Record Union and be heard for the first time. The possibilities are endless.”

TIDAL Rising is a featured category below “What’s New” that emphasizes growing musicians. Users can browse by album or by track, check out Q&A’s and learn more about some of music’s more concealed talent. The roster changes and it is not locked in on one genre. TIDAL lists it as “A program dedicated to artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and are ready to broaden that base to a wider audience. TIDAL Rising was designed to help accelerate the exposure and give voice to tomorrow’s biggest names.”

TIDAL is not based on making the rich richer, so far, it has kept the fan and the music at the forefront. It is new, it will grow and it will make errors, just as other streaming services have. You have nothing to lose, but trying out a free subscription. I have yet to meet anyone who does not like it. I have heard people just not want to recreate their playlists from other services. TIDAL also have a way import your playlists.

I’m not a complete fanboy here. I am just a supporter of great music, hearing it as best I can, discovering new talent and artists being better compensated. Are you? Make your own decision about it.

Have you tried TIDAL yet? http://www.tidal.com

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Public Display of Publicity Featuring Jay-Z and Beyoncé

By: Eliza Borish

In the last two weeks, Jay-Z and Beyoncé have starred in two now infamous online videos. The first video, mainly starring Beyoncé’s younger sister, Solange, was leaked out and took place in the elevator of the Standard Hotel at a Met Gala after party. Solange appears to be attacking Jay-Z in the elevator as Queen B watches from the middle and tries to intervene. Without audio, it is hard to decipher what the actual reasons for this argument were, but the video does reveal a violent undertone and seriously aggressive altercation. I have heard different rumors and theories from all sorts of people on why Solange went on the attack: Was Solange drunk? Is Jay-Z cheating? Did fashion designer Rachel Roy provoke Solange earlier that evening? Could it be all three? Well, definitely; but I’d like to believe that the King and Queen of R&B are perfectly fine in their marital bliss and so from my mind, I have eliminated that option of infidelity altogether.

The second video released this week was a music video for Jay-Z’s song “Part II: On the Run” and was made to resemble a feature film trailer. “Run” as the video is being called, includes many celebrity appearances (No Solange!) from Blake Lively to Rashida Jones to Don Cheadle. Car chases and explosions aside, the music video promotes the couples upcoming 16-city tour. Who wants to go with me?

These two different videos span the spectrum of publicity: one offers insight into the personal (and not perfect) private life of the couple, while the other provides a glimpse of what to expect in their next joint professional venture. It seems to me that the couple has gone from negative publicity to positive publicity right in front of our eyes. At the end of the day, all press is good press (does this count when you are that famous?), but this shift in spectrum occurred so fast, it’s hard to remember that Solange attacking Jay-Z only occurred only a week earlier.

I have to ask myself, was “Run” released on purpose at this time to distract the elevator video or is it merely a coincidence that this star-studded action packed music video in which Jay-Z and Beyoncé are aligned as bad guys comes out right after a devastating video that shows a family argument?

At the end of the day, this overlapping in timing is probably just luck: a music video that intense takes time to produce and their tour does begin June 25th, so it highly unlikely that “Run” would not be released within the month. If anything, my guess is that they moved the release up a bit earlier to combat the bad publicity of their family relations with the good publicity of a music video and an impending tour. If that is the case, then their publicist made a great decision. People are no longer talking or thinking about the family drama, but rather singing along in anticipation of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s tour. When it comes to Solange and her attack on Jay-Z, it’s no longer a point of conversation; with this music video on the forefront, all I think of is what elevator video?

While we may never know what exactly happened, we can take a few things away from this. In the aftermath of a viral public incident:

1)    Don’t dig deeper: after the elevator fight, Solange deleted all but one photo of her and Beyoncé on her Instagram account. This only added fuel to the fire and allowed fans to further speculate on what really went down.

2)    Let it go: family drama is normal, as in any type of drama. Sure, it is tougher to do in the public eye and with social media, but don’t prolong drama. Once it’s done, talk it out, release a statement, and move on.

3)    Deter: just like with their music video, get people taking about something else. Don’t make it feel forced, but if you have something else to offer, like “Run”, showcase that.

4)    Keep it professional: often people are more interested in what is going on behind the scenes, but remember, unless you are a Kardashian, you are famous for a talent, so always focus on that and the negative stuff will eventually simmer down.

5)    Publicist: lastly, if you do not have a good publicist, get one! Your publicist is an appendage of your brand, so their words and their ideas maintain the image you wish to perceive. In times of crisis, it’s their duty to think creatively and strategically.

Publicity can make or break you; it’s all about how the public perceives you. Jay-Z and Beyoncé are lucky to fall back on a devoted fan base, but for them it’s more than luck: they built their image rightfully so and thus, earn the respect that comes with a loyal fan base. With their talent, marketing, and overall, personas, an incident like an elevator fight won’t change much for their image. Their past good publicity allows them to prevail on, even in the wake of negativity. I mean, I still love you, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and even you Solange, with your flailing arms.

Coincidence or not, people are now talking about a music video, not an elevator fight and once again, in just a short amount of time, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are on the right (and positive) spectrum of publicity.

What tips do you offer when consulting a public crisis? If you disagree with mine, let me know! Comments and feedback are always welcomed and if you like what you read, be social and share.