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How NOT To Launch A Company...

Tidal is either the most important thing to happen to mankind since we domesticated animals, or another music streaming company, like Spotify or Pandora. If you watched the press conference or promotional video (above), you’d be forgiven for thinking it is the latter.

Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Beyonce and a host of other millionaires who also happen to be musical artists are apparently behind the new music streaming company that portends to be the “first artist owned global entertainment platform”.

On the surface, this is probably a good idea. Artists in nearly every field are forever being taken advantage of by those looking to make money off them, but few of the artists behind Tidal have been in any position to complain in quite a while. In fact, the net-worth of the artists behind Tidal is more than some third world countries’ GDP. If the idea is to help artists take control of their own music, and to help them make money from it, then it’s certainly admirable. Unfortunately, what came across to the public was a confusing message from a bunch of out of touch rich people.

In other words, this was a marketing and public relations disaster. Those behind the launch forget three […]

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How The Internet Destroyed, Then Improve...

In 1999 the music industry made $14.6 billion dollars in sales. That was also the year Sean Parker, Shawn Fanning and John Fanning started Napster, a file sharing service that completely turned the industry on its head and changed it forever. A decade later, the music industry made just $6.3 billion in sales.

To paint an even bleaker picture, the market share for independent labels (those labels not owned by Sony, Warner, EMI or Universal) went from 22.6% to just 12.1%.

In other words, on the surface it appears as though the internet has done irreparable harm to not only the large corporations that make money off musical artists, but to the musical artists themselves. Or has it?

There is no denying that the decade after Napster was difficult for music labels and musicians alike. While it was hard for musicians to make a living in music before 2000, it was almost impossible for the next decade afterwards. And I personally know several people working in the music industry who lost their jobs and have had to change careers.

It’s well known how important Apple’s iTunes was to getting people to start paying for music again, but it wasn’t just iTunes that saved and […]

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