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.
(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.