Jay Z's Tidal is Failing For the Same Reason General Appeals Struggle
Around here at QuadWrangle, we're obsessed with music. Our CTO is an accomplished composer, I fronted a few bands in high school and college, and our business development manager is an epic Phish follower (70+ shows!). So, when Slate published an article this week on the reasons Jay Z's new music service, Tidal, was failing, we took a personal minute to give it a read.
Turns out, there was as much in that story about philanthropy as there was about music.
Here are the crib notes: Tidal chided Spotify (and others) in their launch marketing for paying artists so little. Who, specifically, chided them? A bunch of bazillionaire artists with equity in Tidal. Not a shock that message fell on deaf consumer ears who've long been trained to avoid paying for music.
Music lovers don't want to fund the music industry; they want to fund musicians - they're musicians.
Similarly, alumni don't want to fund general appeals; they want to support students, teachers and departments pursuing their passions.
It might be that crowdfunding could play a role for fundraising from alumni. We'd caution, though, that a new tool is not the fix. The fundamental mandate persists to get personal. We're excited here at QuadWrangle to have cracked the code on personalization through years of R&D, so hit us up to learn more.