When was the last time you downloaded a song or bought an actual, physical CD? More and more people are swapping out their music libraries for online streaming and subscription services like Pandora and Spotify. According to Billboard, streaming and subscription services are blowing up. 24% of the money Universal Music Group made in the second half of 2015 came from places like Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music.
Streaming is great for the fans and makes money for the record labels but the artists' themselves barely gets paid. On average, a top selling artists like Adele or Beyonce, would only make a fourteenth of a cent per play. That’s why Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify and Jay-Z launched Tidal, a streaming service in favor of the artist.
Although they didn’t really take off last year when it was launched, thanks to Kanye West’s new album “The Life of Pablo,” Tidal soared up the charts to become the number 1 most downloaded music app in the US. It was the fifth most popular app on Facebook.
Tidal had benefitted from streaming exclusives for Beyonce’s new video “Formation”and now West has made his album streamable only on Tidal driving major revenue for the musician-friendly app. Rihanna’s long-awaited album “Anti" was also suppose to be exclusive to the app, but has since put her album other places.
How much these artists are getting paid from Tidal is still unknown but with the release of “The Life of Pablo,” it might get Kanye West out of his $53 million debt.