Despite derision from the media and predictions of failure, Jay Z has announced his artist-owned streaming service Tidal has amassed one million subscribers. It’s been a rocky six months for the service, which has lost a CEO, gotten sued for $50 million, and endured chastising by big name artists like Mumford & Sons since its March 2015 launch, but things appear to be looking up.
Jay Z is celebrating the turn of the dial to seven figures for his fledgling service with an all-star show in New York on October 20. As reported by USA Today, just like Tidal’s launch, the concert will boast a plethora of superstars in the Jay Z/Tidal mafia, including Prince, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, T.I., and of course, Beyoncé, along with more than 20 other stars.
All proceeds for the show will be donated to charities with the help of the New World Foundation according to the report, and Tidal will also be matching all pre-sale proceeds.
The artist/entrepreneur sent out a tweet this week to announce the good news.
“Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists” Tidal is platinum. 1,000,000 people and counting. Let’s celebrate 10/20 Brooklyn.
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) September 29, 2015
While a million users sounds promising, it’s still a relatively small subscriber base compared to Spotify (75 million users, 20 million paying subscribers) and Apple Music (15 million free trial users), but it’s a victory nonetheless, and the hip hop king knows that he needs any positive publicity that he can get.
Jay Z’s big marketing push this year can only claim responsibility for somewhere around 500,000 new users, as Aspiro already boasted a reported 512,000 users when the rapper purchased the service for $56 million. Still, Jay Z is celebrating that his new-formed service is now “platinum,” and seems to be on the right path to success.
All things considered, the numbers for the service can be seen as a positive sign, even if it pales in comparison to the top dogs in streaming. After all, Jay Z doesn’t have anywhere near Apple’s marketing power or the company’s massive user base to pitch his service to, and Spotify has several years on both services. Further, he has said that the primary goal of his service is awareness.
“If in twelve months everyone is having that discussion and a dialogue, and everyone is understanding that streaming’s not a bad thing, I’m happy,” he said to Billboard in March. “Let’s embrace what’s coming up next.”
As shown by his tweet, he’s at least publicly optimistic about Tidal six months in. While we’re unsure of what will happen in the next six months — there were even rumors that he wanted to leave the company as recently as July — we suspect that Tidal will continue to be a passion project for the rapper who is worth $550 million. We’ll keep you updated.
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