Ben Gibbard says Jay Z’s Tidal is just ‘millionaires complaining about not being paid’

Death Cab For Cutie frontman criticises the new music streaming service

Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has joined a number of musicians currently voicing their criticism of Jay-Z‘s new music streaming service, Tidal.

Tidal launched last month (March 30), with the likes of Kanye West, Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Daft Punk and more all attending the launch and signing an official Tidal charter.

Jay Z has claimed that the platform will be more beneficial for artists, but the Death Cab singer says that the star-studded launch suggested that it’ll only favour mainstream acts.

Gibbard told The Daily Beast: “If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out 10 artists that were underground or independent and said, ‘These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much.’ I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid.”

The singer added: “There was a wonderful opportunity squandered to highlight what this service would mean for artists who are struggling and to make a plea to people’s hearts and pocketbooks to pay a little more for this service that was going to pay these artists a more reasonable streaming rate. And they didn’t do it. That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably.”

Gibbard’s comments echo that of Mumford & Sons, who recently said that they “wouldn’t have joined [Tidal] even if they had asked” due its bias towards popular artists.

Lily Allen has also criticised Tidal recently. Allen said earlier in April: “I love Jay Z so much, but TIDAL is [so] expensive compared to other perfectly good streaming services… He’s taken the biggest artists & made them exclusive to TIDAL… people are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves sending traffic to torrent sites.”

Death Cab For Cutie, meanwhile, have announced a UK tour for November.

Ben Gibbard and co are already scheduled to play three London dates during June, but will now return for additional shows in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham from November 2-5. See the full dates below.

Death Cab For Cutie play:

London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (June 8-10)
Glasgow Academy (November 2)
Manchester Academy (3)
London Brixton Academy (4)
Birmingham Academy (5)