Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images
Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images
There are the artists who have a beef with Spotify.
And now there are the artists who don't think that Jay-Z's new, by-the-artist-for-the-artist streaming service Tidal is anything to write home about either.
The members of Mumford & Sons were the latest to speak their minds about Tidal, which launched to much star-studded fanfare last month, with frontman Marcus Mumford telling The Daily Beast that they had not been invited into the fold along with Madonna, Rihanna, Arcade Fire's Win Butler and the other music luminaries who joined Jay Z for the rollout.
But they wouldn't have joined the fun anyway, he says.
"We wouldn't have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don't want to be tribal," Mumford said. "I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don't think you can complain. A band of our size shouldn't be complaining. And when they say it's artist-owned, it's owned by those rich, wealthy artists."
He clarified: "What I'm not into is the tribalistic aspect of it—people trying to corner bits of the market, and put their face on it. That's just commercial bulls--t."
"New school f--king plutocrats" are what guitarist Winston Marshall called the Tidal braintrust, adding, "We don't want to be part of some Tidal ‘streaming revolution' nor do we want to be Taylor Swift and be anti-it. I don't understand her argument, either. The focus is slightly missed. Music is changing. It's f--king changing."
Winston must have missed the memo that Swift had an issue with Spotify in particular, and that she is actually letting Tidal use her music, minus her latest album, 1989.
But Mumford and Marshall aren't the first artists to take a swing at Tidal. Here are some others:
Lily Allen In response to a Tidal tweet about music labels getting 75 percent of the streaming fee back, the "Smile" singer replied, "Wow, so if you're a Co owning artist you see a cut of the 25% profit, and let's face it, probably a larger chunk of the 75% than most artists." And a few days later she added, "Spotify pay out the but the artists aren't getting the money, so where is it going I wonder ?? Spotify is not the enemy of the artist."
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Ben Gibbard: The Death Cab for Cutie frontman also thinks that Jay Z & Co. missed the mark, telling The Daily Beast (quite the topic of conversation over there these days): "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."
Jennifer Lopez More of a talk-to-the-hand than anything else, when asked if she had heard about Tidal during an American Idol red carpet a week after the launch, J.Lo said, quite emphatically, "No, I did not." And then, "Oh, OK," as a reporter decided that she was going to be the one to bring Lopez up to speed. Then, finally, when the reporter didn't take the hint, Lopez, as she was sidling away, said with a sympathetic look on her face, "I don't know anything about it, sweetie."
Maybe she protested too much. But whether Lopez had heard of Tidal or not, she did not want to talk about it.
Honest dissent or the grumblings of those not invited to the party? Discuss!