Jay-Z’s 100th problem is that he’ll be choking on his cornflakes this morning reading Billboard’s latest (anonymous) survey of music-industry executives.
Asked “how long do you give Tidal?” 71% said the streaming service will be gone within a year, while another 17% said it has between one and two years. Only 12% thought “Tidal is not going away”, although those who disagreed didn’t get to specify whether they think the service will shut down or get acquired.
It’s the latest sign of a lack of faith in Tidal from within the industry, stemming from that curious relaunch event when the service’s starry new owners took turns signing a mysterious manifesto.
Tidal has struggled to overcome the press and industry ridicule of that event – this, despite the fact that it has added a series of inventive features, while its most prominent executive Vania Schlogel has talked sense in interviews and conference appearances.
Is there an element of defensiveness from the (largely drawn from labels, we suspect) executives surveyed by Billboard, given Tidal’s emphasis on artists rather than rightsholders? Possibly, although with two defenestrated CEOs and debate about licensing and funding, the company has left some question marks around its long-term prospects.
That said, we could say the same about the 62% of those industry executives who think they “know more about technology than the average 14 year-old” – pride that could be heading for a fall.
Meanwhile, 42% think the music industry is fair to artists while 58% think it isn’t; and 54% would swap their current job for a similar-paying position at Apple or Spotify, versus 46% who wouldn’t.
Unsurprisingly, there’s no sign of the “Who do you believe: (i) Kesha (ii) Dr. Luke” question that asked industry executives to pass judgement on whether a woman’s rape claim was true or false – and which was heavily (and rightfully – what WERE they thinking?) criticised over the last week.