Blog Post #3
Recently, TIDAL, a popular music streaming company joined a social justice organization honoring the victims of racial violence. According to a recent news story published on the Huffington Post, Tidal has partnered with Harry Belafonte’s social justice organization, Sankofa.org, which raises awareness about police brutality. As a result of the collaboration, on February 17 2017 TIDAL announced the release of a new visual EP “17.” Sanfoka.org further explained on their website the goal of 17, “a tribute to the countless men and women who have fallen victim to racial and police violence…At a time when protest music is beginning to make a resurgence, “17” highlights the role of artists and entertainers in the ongoing push for racial and social justice.” The visual also follows a 17 year old black teenager on his experiences with racial bias and features music by Mali Music, Elijah Blake, and Ty Dolla $ign. The project was originally created in response to the victims of police brutality including the death of the 17 year old Travyon Martin. Gina Belafonte, the co-executor of Sanfoka.org explained the partnership as one of the organization’s biggest accomplishments and believes connecting artists to social political issues will help raise awareness. Belafonte further described the goal of the organization, ““This Visual EP is one of the many projects Sankofa.org has produced (and will be rolling out more of) that has inspired artists to use their massive cultural influence and followings to shine a light on issues of political and moral urgency.”Also, TIDAL and Sanfoka.org have launched the #IAM17 social media campaign which allows those to share personal stories about their life experiences at the age of 17. I believe TIDAL partnering with such a great organization is an excellent way to raise awareness about two very important topics, racial bias and police violence. By using their platform, TIDAL is aiding in allowing children all over the world to share their experience and give them an opportunity to connect with others who share similar experiences.
According to BBC News, another music streaming company, Spotify announced on March 3rd 2017 that the company has become the first music streaming company service to pass 50 million paying subscribers. Compared to its biggest competitor Apple Music which has around 20 million paying subscribers, Spotify at this moment is completely dominating the music streaming industry. However, despite this huge accomplishment, Spotify is losing huge amounts of due to the 80% of the company’s cash flows going to copyright payments. This is important because it means Spotify as a company is making very little profit due to so much of their income going to the record labels. According to Quartz, the service’s premium subscription tier ($9.99 a month for users in the US and roughly equivalent around the world) does draw in more money than its free, advertisement-supported tier but paying subscribers only make up 30% of Spotify’s overall user base, which means the majority of people are still listening for free. This low profit may affect the life of the company because of the fact that more than half of the revenue is going not towards the company but to the labels.