Jack White used his Third Man Records site today to defend Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal, saying he doesn’t see “what is elitist about it” and asking, “who’s speaking for the little guy?” Answering fan-generated questions on the TMR site, White addressed Tidal’s more expensive $19.99 price point—which, it should be noted, is only for its lossless, ultra high-quality audio option—by hypothetically asking, “How much did you pay for that last movie you saw at the theater? And how much did that movie cost to make?” White also addressed Tidal’s artist-generated interface, saying he and other acts “spent all last night talking and discussion ways to make it very cool.” As White notes, “musicians want you to hear their music in the best ways possible,” mixing “on very nice speakers and systems only to have 90 percent of [music being] heard on tiny components that cut out half the information.”
Perhaps most interesting was White’s dismissal of the most damning critique of Tidal: That acts like Jay Z—and White himself, for that matter—already have too much money. Responding that criticism, White smartly said,
A streaming service owned by artists is the first step, it’s not about the rich getting richer. it takes artists that can get peoples attention to be able to make a scenario possible for those artists that don’t have a voice to get in a position where they aren’t struggling, and believe me third man records is full of artists the mainstream’s never heard of and have no voice or power in the system. have you heard of Rachelle Garnier? what about the Smoke Fairies? Drakar Sauna? Pujol? The Gories? Those are just some of the up and coming artists on third man that try to make a living in music. And if you stream their songs… they get paid for it. And they get to LIVE and not take second jobs….and make MORE music! I support keeping musicians you love in business. We want a full third man roster page on tidal that you can stream hundreds of records on, and each time that artist gets something. that’s a beautiful thing.
And also… do we tell Steven Spielberg we don’t need to pay him anymore to watch his movies? He’s made enough off of us right? He should show his new films for free right? haha
Tidal haters, you just got served.