Tidal Opens for Business

“TIDAL for all.” That’s the slogan for Jay Z’s new high-fidelity music streaming service, Tidal. But with a $19.99 a month service fee, it probably isn’t for everyone, especially those already paying for Spotify or torrenting most of their music.

Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

So what’s the deal? Well first off, Tidal is geared towards supporting artists, something that many claim Spotify doesn’t do. Jay Z is not the only one whose face is slapped on this thing. Host company, Aspiro, has also convinced other huge music celebrities including Jack White, Deadmau5, and Nikki Minaj to endorse Tidal as stakeholders. On top of just audio playlists (streaming in FLAC format for those familiar), Tidal is also currently streaming music videos. The service is available in-browser (on their website) and also in app form, like iTunes or Spotify. Currently it is unclear whether or not Tidal will offer exclusive streaming for particular artists, the way iTunes has exclusivity over The Beatles, but it seems a definite possibility.

In regards to competing with companies like Spotify, in his interview with The Fader Jay Z says “…we’re really not here to compete with anyone, we’re actually here to improve the landscape. If just the presence of Tidal causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we’ve been successful in one way…We want to do a very specific thing, we want people to come to Tidal for a specific sound, a specific experience…After that, the world decides. The universe decides.”

Should You Torrent That?

Since the dawn of the digital age, the music industry has succumb to a new form of shoplifting – online piracy. While pirating music is not a new concept along with the Internet, downloading music without paying for it is occurring at a much greater magnitude than the pre-internet days. As an Economics major, I wonder how much this phenomenon affects the music industry. So I ask the question: Should you really be torrenting?

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Because the Haters Gonna Hate: Taylor Swift Buys New Adult Domain Names

taylor-swift-1989-promo

Just last week, pop star Taylor Swift bought up two new websites: TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult. I doubt it will surprise many of you to hear that neither of these sites will be utilized for their implied purpose. Instead, this is another instance of “domain squatting”, where an individual purchases a domain name either with the intent to profit off of a large amount of ads placed on a legitimate-sounding domain, or in this instance to prevent others from having the domain title. With Swift’s high degree of visibility, it was probably a good PR move. Not all celebrities have been that lucky, however.

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“Blurred Lines” in Copyright Verdict?

As many of you may already be aware, a landmark decision was made this past Tuesday when artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost a lawsuit to the estate of Marvin Gaye regarding copyright infringement. According to the verdict of the case, the hit song “Blurred Lines” was too similar to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up”. Thicke and Williams have been told to pay $7.3 million dollars in damages to Gaye’s estate. Right now, their lawyers have gone on the record to say that they are appealing this decision. Their appeal will be predominately based on the fact that jurors were instructed by the judge to only compare the sheet music between the two songs, a comparison that Thicke and William’s legal team believes does not encompass the true feel of both songs.

Here’s a mashup of the two songs in case you need some reference for comparison:

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