Jay-Z‘s newly-launched music streaming service, Tidal, has responded to criticisms that it favours wealthy mainstream musicians. The company has now launched a new feature which aims to help upcoming artists, called Tidal Rising.
A statement from Tidal (via CraveOnline) explaining the feature, reads, “Tidal gives voice to tomorrow’s biggest names through TIDAL RISING, a program dedicated to promoting emerging and independent artists from around the world. Every week, nascent talent in any genre will emerge.”
Criticism of Tidal has largely been focused on its royalty structure and focus on exclusives from big-name artists. The latter has already seen backlash from Rihanna fans, who criticised the singer for making the music video for her new single American Oxygen available only on Tidal. The video has since been uploaded to YouTube, and is available to stream below.
Rihanna’s decision to cancel her American Oxygen Tidal exclusive came shortly before legendary record producer Steve Albini put Tidal’s love for exclusives back into the firing line.
In an interview with Vulture, Albini said:
“The internet provides access to materials and things. Creating these little streaming fiefdoms, where certain streaming services have certain artists and certain streaming services have other artists, is a crippled use of the internet.
If the internet has demonstrated anything over the years, it’s that it has a way of breaking limitations placed on its content.”
A number of prominent artists have also criticised Tidal in recent weeks. Mumford And Sons have also called out the service for its apparent bias towards popular artists, while Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard has described Tidal as “a bunch of millionaires and billionaires” who “all complain about not being paid”.
Tidal launched last month, with support from music industry heavyweights such as Kanye West, Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Jack White and Daft Punk.
Watch: Rihanna – American Oxygen