Did The B-Sides Weekend Save Tidal? – Jay Z’s Ultimate Lifeline
Folk are still talking about the back to back performances Jay Z treated his faithful Tidal members too in NYC this past weekend. We’re only a few weeks removed from Hov’s unexpected Twitter appearance to defend Tidal’s slow start. The immediate back lash from naysayers that had already started digging the grave for the newly launched media platform was felt all across the internets. Given that tension filled climate, the announcement of the B Sides show couldn’t have come soon enough.
As Pier 5 hosted the Jay Z love fest for fans of all ages, one thing became crystal clear. When Jay presents himself through music no one questions him. There’s always a space for people to doubt the motives behind his many business ventures. From his interjection into the Occupy Wall Street movement to last years drama packed partnership with high end store Barney’s there have been time’s when even the most faithful fan had to wonder if the all mighty dollar was all that mattered.
Many were viewing TIDAL the same way. “It’s too expensive.” “Why would I move from Spotify for streaming or Youtube for video content?” There are no lack of questions about the point behind Tidal. Then the content slowly started rolling out. Exclusives from Rihanna & Beyonce were released. The Internet moves at lightning speed but at least for now Tidal user were getting material 1st and in this age that means everything even if it’s only a matter of days or even hours. It seemed clear that Tidal for now was going to ride the backs of its flagship superstars.
That was plan A. Plan B was the live concert access. Roc Nation artist J Cole featured a private concert performance exclusive to members which was received to very positive reviews. Now it was time for the big guns. Jay Z announced the all time rumored B sides concert for the good people of NYC, that were subscribed to Tidal of course.
Prompted to create their own B sides playlist of Jay Z songs, members directly won tickets to the live showing . In addition to all this, to show that he does have a heart, the 1st of the 2 nights was streamed live for free to show all just what Jay had on deck.
It was a memorable hip hop night punctuated by a Rocafella x State Property reunion, an appearance by the ever enigmatic Jay Electronica and an opening freestyle taking aim at Tidal’s competition as well as touching on a few of the social issues now burning throughout the nation. When it was all said and done It was nothing but positive reactions to the weekends events. Fans and industry folk alike not only expressed satisfaction with Jay Z’s concert but it would seem that many were won over enough to buy into Tidal membership. Many who were trashing the service within the past month were now all in. What happened? What converted the doubtful? It’s really simple. Jay went back to basics.
Jay spoke to the people in the language that brought him his initial fame. He put the corporate talk and investment chatter to the side for a moment to rap with folk. Instead of tweeting and trying to explain why Tidal is “for the people” he cut the middle out and just connected with the people. Before all else Jay is Hip Hop and Hip Hop culture still rules the world. When you can create emotion and tap into feelings and memories with the public, it goes so much further then logically breaking down percentages and profit margins.
Hov went back to being the guy that everyone followed. From white tees to throw back jerseys to button ups. The real was back. Tidal was presented as the ultimate VIP pass instead of just another streaming service. As long as experiences can be provided then Tidal will win in the end.
As I type this Tidal just released Made in America Tickets to Tidal users. People, especially those in Hip Hop lovee feeling “exclusive”. Watch Jay and company ride that Tidal wave all the way to the bank.