3 Reasons Why Jay Z’s Twitter Defense Of Tidal Fell Flat

April 27, 2015  |  

If you went on Twitter yesterday, you probably caught a glimpse of Jay Z’s mountain o’ tweets explaining and defending Tidal, his new music streaming company. So far, the endeavor has fallen pretty flat with lots of criticism coming from the media and music fans alike. No doubt sensing that the tide wasn’t turning on Tidal (sorry…) he used the hashtag #TidalFacts to set the record straight. Or at least set it straight from his point of view.

Now the reviews are in and it doesn’t seem like too many people were swayed by his argument. The Daily Beast takes Jay’s points apart one by one, from the subscriber numbers (it may be 770K, but the service inherited most of those) to the alleged smear campaign that Jay speaks of (none exists).

All of that aside, no one should be surprised that Jay would try to stand up for Tidal given that he’s the majority owner — the other celebs that appeared on stage at the press conference launch of the service own only a small percentage of the business — and he clearly wanted this to be a big success from the start.

But there are a few reasons why his Twitter case fails to sway the jury. Here are the top three.

Can you say random?
Jay warned that it was going to be a “stream of consciousness” series of tweets, but maybe he should’ve taken a few minutes to pull his thoughts together.

His tweets seemed to go from one end of things to the other. Taken together, it doesn’t tell a coherent story about what Tidal is and why people should be paying the $20 per month that Jay is asking for. That’s the biggest sticking point of all, so that should have been the focus. Instead…

Who are you talking to?
So yes, Jay Z was talking to all of his followers. And since he’s a world famous “business, man” and entertainer, it stands to reason his comments would be picked up by everyone. So, in essence, he’s speaking to the world. But here, he needed to pick a more specific audience and address their questions.

This would imply that he’s talking to investors and others in the music industry.

But this implies that fans and potential subscribers are the target.

We get that he had a lot on his mind, but his comments needed to be a bit more pointed. One of our writers, a PR with a business of her own, Sakita Holley, crafted her own response to Jay’s tweets. A sample:

 

You can read more here.

The point Holley makes is a good one. It will take more than a few phone calls to convince people that they should part with their money for music and video that they’re getting elsewhere at no charge. You have to outline the value of what you’re offering, detail why you’re asking people to pay for it and then go beyond their expectations so they feel justified in their purchase and tell others they should spend their money in kind.

Ultimately, it seemed more angry than purposeful.
In the end, you get the sense that Jay Z is angry and more than disappointed by the reaction to Tidal thus far. We think this pretty well captures the scene at Jay’s computer yesterday.

https://twitter.com/PurpleZolanski/status/592383216666943488

(Our friends at Hip Hop Wired captured a few more priceless reactions as well.)

Jay Z should know that business is tough. As he says in one of his tweets, it takes time to build something into a success. Perhaps he thought that, by virtue of all the celebrity names attached to Tidal, it would immediately be received warmly; that everyone would be as excited by it as he and his business cohorts are.

All entrepreneurs should be ready for the inevitable bump in the road. Many if not all of the entrepreneurs we profile here on MN Business make that point. The key is making the necessary changes, keep your cool and move the business onwards and upwards. Perhaps Jay needs to read MN Biz more often.

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  • gapeach0614

    Street hustling doesn’t make you a businessman. He clearly needs to educate himself on how to market a brand, supply and demand, and how to sell dreams to the sleepless. How selfish of him to put the needs of the artist ahead of the needs of the fans, who actually made them who they are?! Do they look hungry? Do they look like they are struggling? I think NOT! Everyone in the music industry knows you don’t get paid s*** from music sales. Ask TLC! A hit dog will holler…. I hear ya Jay… I hear ya!

    • Michelle

      I believe this is his problem. I think Jay has truly fallen into the belief that due to his experience of slinging drugs has made him into this supreme business hustler. He thinks that his name is so infamous that people will buy anything, no questions asked. I’m sure in his mind, he was Tony Montana back in those days.

      • gapeach0614

        Right! Who TF does he think he’s fooling with those tailored suits? He probably WAS the man back in the day. He’s just as arrogant and back stabbing as his egotistical wife.

        • nick

          He might not have even been that….he could have just been a ‘foot soldier’…did he run a drug conglomerate? Or was he just on the corner ‘working’ for someone else? It’s a BIG difference, but all the folks who want to give him all the street cred think just because you ‘hustled’ means you were some Nino Brown-ish type kingpin…but it doesn’t…just means you clocked in everyday and got cash money for your ‘efforts’

      • nick

        I agree with both of you… people laud him as such as businessman, and he’s had ‘luck’…but. just because you ‘did that’ doesn’t make you JP Morgan….it simply means you had a side gig(rapping) and flipped it…I think he placed a lot of expectation AND MONEY to this venture and he’s geeking because it didn’t work as planned….but that’s the business world…sheer luck…if you get one leg up, your mettle is tested..are you going to play smart, get smart people or are you going to sit and wait? If you sit and wait, it might not work out too well…instead of venting, he should be researching, reading, getting advice…instead of putting the glam squad on stage, he should’ve had legitimate, tried and true businessmen up there with him…that’s IF they want to be associated with him….

        • Ang

          Alot of these celebs also forget that most of success of their business projects was due to their celebrity name and not because they are good buisness people. When celebrities have a successful shoe, perfume, clothing line, etc. they have a corporation behind them doing the real biz work and the customers come just because they want to see what their favorite celeb is endorsing. But that doesn’t say anything about their business skills. I remember when Beyonce and Tina had a fashion show on Oprah for their clothing line. Oprah stopped on of the models and grabbed her waist and said my God shes small and asked Beyonce how many of her fans she expected to fit into this stuff. And when Tina mentioned the price, Oprah said “oh so people have to have a food job to buy your clothes.” And we see how long House of Dereon lasted. The Carters seem out of touch with their fan base. They need to hire people to run their businesses.

  • Vdub2014

    How about you use some of your millions and invest more in marketing. No one gave a fyck about Beats by Dre headphones until he reached out to every rapper and had them put it in their music videos. Then he had rockers, r&b artists, pop artists pretty much every one under the sun. J i don’t like you or your music very much but you’re trying. As a black woman I can commend it but let’s not forget you a dope boy from the block pretending like he’s above us minions. A friend of mine was doing catering and served you at an event at MSG. You pretty much bit her head off for asking for a credit card to secure the slew of drinks you were ordering. Not thinking – Maybe she’s a temp hired for the night and respecting the rules of the establishment. Stop crying ya big baby and start again.

  • mmmdot

    Jay-Z needs to have a stadium of seats in some very hard chairs. This is about rich artists getting even richer. When Jay-Z says it’s “artist-owned”, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists. I’ve already got Spotify. I don’t need this shat!

    • bbuster

      Thank you! Tidal is Jay Z’s delusional way of pandering even more money to keep his luxurious lifestyle while the rest of us common folk struggle for pennies to pay our bills. He’s shown time and time again that he’s willing to sell his own people down the river for that last coin (e.g. Barney’s racism issue). He doesn’t give a damn about the fans or the black community as a whole (hence his persistent silence on issues like black people dying at the hands of police every 28 hours). It’s all about the money to him but unfortunately for him, we see right through the BS.

      • mmmdot

        Yep! Thank you! You broke it ALLLL the way down. That’s why I continually remind myself the individual successes of Black entertainers have no impact whatsoever on Black people collectively. Seeing a Black face doesn’t necessarily mean something for RACIAL PROGRESS, as much as for the progress of that particular entertainer. Unless a Black entertainer is socially conscious on some level and/or has something substantial to contribute, I really have to try hard to separate their individual success from the social conditions that most Black people have to live under and whether they’re helping to make things easier for the Black people coming after them.

      • Bri

        Aint Jay-z rich enough!!!!! Why do need to support another one of his buisness ventures just because he is black…..There are other local black buisness that I can support…..Jay -z is tryin to be on Warren buffets level, and for what????? How can people not see that.

        • Ang

          Good point. I hope all these people saying we should support Jay because he is black are also supporting all the small black businesses that actually need the money and serve the community. But they probably dont because most of them are not supporting Jay because he’s black they support him because he’s famous.

          • Just saying!!

            Boom!! There it is!

  • Rainbow Bright

    If Jay wants me to pay $20 a month for Tidal then, Ima need a play date with Blue.

    • mmmdot

      LMAO!!! Right!

      • Rainbow Bright

        Blue is such a cutie pie!!

        🙂

  • Just saying!!

    Wow I expected a couple of tweets but he tweeted a thousand lol damn. Clearly he is on the defense about this. If he truly felt things were going well he wouldn’t have felt the need to do all of that. Plus he’s all over the place. No offense but stuff like this is what let’s me know celebrities get help when actually executing their business endeavors lol

  • Nia

    That’s $240 per year. That’s A LOT! How is their stock doing? They are a new company, so when they go public (if they didn’t), I’d rather use my funds (when I get the extra) to buy their stock and watch it gradually go with the company.

    • mmmdot

      True. If it DOES end up going public and growing, I’d rather INVEST in the business than pay for it as a customer.

    • Vdub2014

      As I said above he should’ve done 6 mths free then 6 mths half price and then worked them up to $20. At least you’re making something instead of losing people left and right. haha

  • OpalCR

    I stopped reading after “for the fans”. boy stop

  • slimpickens2916

    Tidal is a notch above Spotify allowing you to stream music and videos!

  • slimpickens2916

    I am a subscriber and wish his team much success! Instead of predicting gloom and doom I support Blacks wherever I can. I think this is a great idea! If you choose not to subscribe, then by all means don’t. However, let us allow this man and his crew to have the opportunity to succeed or fail based on the merits of the service without deciding why this is a bad idea and why it will fail!

    • Guest360

      No one is deciding that this will fail. We don’t even know what the site is! Like I said in my original post, he has yet to address what customers will be getting their $20 and how Tidal is different from these other sites. I can stream music for free on Spotify or Pandora. I can stream videos for free on YouTube or Vevo. Why do I need to pay $20 for anything? Jay has yet to answer that question lol.

      • slimpickens2916

        You can find out about the site if you are interested by going to the site! My reference was not necessarily to you but to those in the media who are doing a smear campaign!

        • Ang

          But that’s the point. Customers shouldnt have to research your product to find out if its worth buying. When you are selling something that other people offer for free, you have to go above and beyond to explain why its worth the money. That’s where they missed the mark. Jay thought his name alone was enough (which in most cases it is), but he needed better marketing people to push this.

          • lilrockdiva

            Once again, Jay is selling “black” e.g. “You Black, I’m Black…don’t think just give me your money.” He has done this before and he will do it again because it works (remember Barney’s).

            • Ang

              Exactly! But when its time for him to be black and show support he’s no where to be found.

      • NicoleSUCKS

        Yes, this!

      • knj1022

        You don’t have to pay $20, you can join for $10 also.

    • lilrockdiva

      I’m happy you are willing to pay $20 a month for a service you can get for free elsewhere; way to watch those dollars.

      • slimpickens2916

        To each their own!

        • lilrockdiva

          More like: A fool and his money are soon parted.

          • slimpickens2916

            People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

            • lilrockdiva

              You have the right to be wrong; it don’t bother me.

  • Simone Mackey

    I couldn’t agree anymore on this.

  • Guest360

    This is what I’ve been thinking since this thing was announced. What exactly is Tidal, what am i getting with my $20 a month, and how is it different from any of the other FREE services out here? He has yet to address any of that but is upset that people didn’t take his blue profile pic to the literal bank? Man get off it. You’re not that powerful to peddle a vague company in receive accolades for it.

    • Simone Mackey

      Exactly!

    • Vdub2014

      If he was smart aside from the 6 month subscription do another 6 at 10/month and follow the lead of Amazon Prime. Their subscription went from 75 a year to 100 bucks and didn’t lose anyone. Because people love their service. You get to mail product for pennies on the dollar, free digital downloads of certain films and tv plus free kindle book downloads. You can’t beat that!