Some critics are already saying that yesterday’s announcement looked like a meeting of “music’s 1%,” that these were just superstars looking to make themselves richer. What would you say to that perception of Tidal?
Vania Schlogel, Tidal’s chief investment officer and chief industry liaison: I would almost say it’s the reverse of that. Ok, these are established artists who care enough about the sustainability of the industry, stepping out on a limb and doing this. Of course there are going to be people who are cynical. But look, at the end of the day, if any established artist goes out and gets an endorsement deal — no one’s gonna criticize them for that because that’s how they make money. But if an established artist goes out and steps outside of the box and says, “I’m trying something different,” that invites criticism. There is some bravery for what these artists are trying to do. Its not to fill their own pockets, it’s to create a sustainable industry.
By virtue of that definition, because that is our thesis, if we’re not treating music like a loss leader, then that’s good for indie artists, emerging artists, songwriters, producers. Music is a whole industry and it takes money. The reality is it takes money to create music. It doesn’t just happen for free. We want to make sure music continues to be made, that songwriters are able to actually write songs rather than having to say, “I do a 9-to-5 in New York, and don’t have time to write songs. That doesn’t make it a sustainable industry.