While Jay-Z has started to pull his music from Spotify, the Tidal launch is hitting its first snag. Tidal-exclusive Rihanna & Beyoncé tracks have been ripped & uploaded to YouTube by over-zealous fans who maybe need a refresher in copyright law. This sequence of events should surprise no one who has been listening to digital music for more than a year or so. Even with the aggressive copyright enforcement & DMCA takedowns, you can still find the music out there if you look. Additionally, Jay-Z’s album that was pulled from Spotify is still available on iTunes, Beats and YouTube. This staggered contraction, if replicated across the array of artists that attended/were featured in the Tidal launch, has grave implications for the success of the newly minted service.
If people can keep getting the supposedly exclusives without signing up for the service, Tidal could run out of money quickly. There’s no point to signing up if you can just wait a week for some fan with a subscription to throw it up on Soundcloud or YouTube, and hope the labels playing DMCA takedown whack a mole don’t find you. This obliterates the value-added element of Tidal, sadly, so it will be very to interesting to see how they handle this obvious problem.