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It was inevitable that a new streaming platform coming from Jay-Z would receive a tsunami of press. What’s laughable is how quickly the tide turned against it. TIDAL, an artist-owned streaming service, promises lossless audio (meaning it sounds really good) and high definition video (meaning it looks really good). Seems great, right? Wrong, oh ye of too much faith.

A punching bag since its launch, TIDAL has been maligned from the get-go. For starters, there was that absurd launch event where artists like Beyoncé, Madonna and Kanye West gathered to lend their solidarity to Jay-Z’s latest venture, and to offer up their John Hancocks to some Declaration of Independence-esque document. Some of the biggest, most influential pop stars gathering to pledge their allegiance to some new-fangled tech company sounds like the makings of a half-assed “Saturday Night Live” sketch—if only we were so lucky.

Then there’s the price tag. Offering no free subscription option like Spotify or Pandora, TIDAL’s base subscription price is $20, a 100% increase over Spotify’s premium plan. In a culture that already doesn’t put much stock into paying money to own music, it seems egregiously counterproductive to place that whopping price tag on a streaming music platform.

Next came the deluge of bad press. Reports that TIDAL’s audio isn’t all that better than rival services, Kanye West’s not-so-subtle maneuver to distance himself from it, the company firing 25 employees, including its CEO, and fan squabbling about TIDAL-exclusive content came streaming in.

Let’s dive into that last part. Already, Beyoncé has released a homemade video of her performing a new song, “Die With You,” while Rihanna premiered her lastest single and video “American Oxygen” on TIDAL as “exclusives.” Within hours of their release, torrents of these “exclusives” were all over the Internet and social media. How can a service expect to thrive on exclusive content if said content doesn’t remain exclusive at all?

A recent announcement that Jay-Z will perform a rare set of B-sides for select subscribers, along with rumors of an exclusive Jay-Z/Beyoncé album seem to be attempts at a Band-Aid. However, as it’s been proven, it won’t stop torrenters and the Internet-savvy from getting their hands on the goods.

The one admirable concept behind TIDAL is its commitment to compensating songwriters fairly. But when you have the wealthiest pop stars pushing a hefty price in the name of fair compensation, it’s akin to the 1 percent acting as the face of Occupy Wall Street. Lesser-known artists that would actually benefit from this model are no doubt collectively rolling their eyes at the arrogance of it all.

The music industry’s main problem is that it hasn’t been innovative enough to keep up with changing technologies. TIDAL puts on the shiny veneer of a remedy to that problem, but it’s no secret that streaming won’t be putting food on the table for the artists who need it, especially when every aspect of the service is so out-of-touch with consumers and fans that it actively alienates them. TIDAL is a lose-lose to everyone it caters to. It’s back to the drawing board again on how to save the sinking ship that is the music industry’s profitability.

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