Madonna insists Tidal set to ‘build something unique and amazing’

Co-owner unworried by streaming service's slow start

“We live in a society now where everybody just expects everything to be for free, but you don’t get a house for free; you have to pay somebody to build it,” Madonna has told Associated Press in an interview about developing streaming service Tidal.

Tidal is co-owned by a host of celebrity musicians including Jay-Z, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Daft Punk and Madonna herself. It was launched by a host of celebrities in March, but has been somewhat overshadowed in recent weeks by the launch of Apple Music.

Things have seemed rocky internally at times, too, with interim CEO Peter Tonstad departing after only two months at the helm just over a month ago.

Madonna is confident there is plenty of life left in the service yet, however, moving once again to affirm the ethics behind the project.


“It’s important that people understand we didn’t create Tidal, we didn’t put this together, we didn’t all join forces because we’re broke and we want more money,” she said. “The idea is we want to support other artists and we want people to understand this is our heart, this is our work, and we want people to recognize that and we want other artists to have a chance.”

“We hope we’re going to build something unique and amazing that’s going to attract a lot of people.”

Other recent moves from the streaming service have included the introduction of student fees (at present at US universities only), as well as a family plan that allows additional family members to sign up at half the rate of the first subscriber.

The service also has an emphasis on artist ownership and on unique content, which has so far included early releases from Beyonce, Lil Wayne and Rihanna, as well as Jack White‘s last show before his recent semi-retirement.

In an increasingly crowded market and with higher subscription prices than many of their competitors, however, Tidal has yet to repeat the impact of that celebrity-heavy launch.