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Is Jay Z's Tidal The Latest Meerkat?

Is Jay Z's Tidal The Latest Meerkat?
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If music celebrities such as Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Beyonce and even Jay Z himself are tweeting about a new streaming music app, it must be a hit, right?

Unfortunately for Jay Z and his newly-launched Tidal app, not even his celebrity friends can change Tidal’s abysmal download numbers.

Tidal Wave Barely A Ripple

Only two weeks after Tidal’s launch, the app plummeted outside of the top 700 on the list of most downloaded iPhone apps, according to BGR. Many listeners likely take issue with Tidal’s $10 monthly price tag for digital audio quality music or $20 price tag for CD-quality audio.

Tough Competition

Apps by rivals Spotify and Pandora Media Inc (NYSE: P) offer the same or similar services for a little or no charge. As of April 20, Pandora and Spotify came in third and fourth, respectively, on the U.S. iPhone revenue chart.

This marks the first time that two music streaming services have ever simultaneously appeared this high on the revenue chart.

Related Link: Can Tidal Compete With Existing Music Streaming Services?

Musical Meerkat?

Tidal’s apparent flop after so many high-power endorsements brings to mind a similar fate suffered by social media live streaming app Meerkat last month. Just three days after the app received $14 million in new funding from investors that included Greylock Partners and celebrity Jared Leto, Meerkat had been crushed by the debut of Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR)'s Periscope app.

In three days, Periscope had worked its way inside the top 30 on the iPhone downloads list, while Meerkat had fallen to number 523.

Media’s Role

The failures of over-hyped apps such as Tidal, Meerkat and Secret have led to criticism of the U.S. tech media. In a recent post on BGR, entertainment strategist Tero Kuittinen explained his frustrations:

“In the United States, app industry reporters can simply choose to cover an app their buddies claim is cool and then prioritize the 200th most popular app in the country over apps that have actual heft and significance.”

While Jay Z certainly can’t be criticized for pursuing every possible opportunity to promote his product, Tidal’s failure does raise some important questions about the relationship between the media, celebrities, investors and cold, hard facts.

Posted-In: Jay Z MeerkatAnalyst Color News Events Top Stories Tech General Best of Benzinga


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