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.

Interestingly, though, there are several services, like PatreonKickstarter and Bandcamp, that allow music lovers to fund and support specific artists and those sites are doing well.

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.

Nick Zeckets