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Win Butler says major labels are at fault for all of Tidal’s failures

Butler, top center, with the rest of Arcade Fire

Win Butler says all of Tidal’s problems can be traced back to the harsh demands of the major-label system. Butler—who fronts Arcade Fire, a band now backed by the mighty hand of Universal Music—says that Tidal’s weaknesses, like its $20 membership fee, are symptoms of a larger problem. As Butler told The Independent in an interview, “The major label music industry has completely ruined every aspect of their business. At every step of the way they’ve had the tools offered to them to create an industry that works, and they’ve completely blown it.” He continued by saying, “That’s why we never had any interest in signing a contract with one of these companies because they’re clearly completely clueless,” which, again, is a pretty contradictory thing for him to say.

Butler told The Independent that he, along with the rest of Tidal’s musician owners, are actively working to correct the issues however they can. And while he notes that the streaming service’s launch was “poorly managed” due to the involved artists not knowing “anything about PR”—another dubious statement, considering we’re talking about Beyoncé and Jay Z here—Butler says it was ultimately a good business decision for him to get involved with the service, especially because he’s a fan of its “HD streaming quality.”


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