"Its the Wild Wild West..." -Jay Z
When Jay Z said that I thought I knew what he meant but over time I've gained a deeper understanding. Technology has changed everything in regards to how we listen to and obtain hip hop music. Even further, because the there is no one correct way to market music anymore, there are no rules. As far as the fans go, they have the biggest influence on the culture now in my opinion. It used to be radio and music videos as the two main sources to find new music and to know whats "in". Because of the internet, there are limitless ways to find new music and there are fewer gatekeepers around to tell you what to like.
Streaming Offers A New Platform...
What Jay-Z and other forward thinking people like himself realize is that because the internet has made everything so open, someone needs to reel it in and make things easier to navigate. Yes, its great that people can find hip hop music anywhere but as a label or artist you don't want your music or brand to be scattered. You also want to be able to track the people who do you like your music and be able to connect with them.
The New Standard...
I think that title is what Tidal (bars) is trying to accomplish. Along with other streaming platforms, they are catering to the consumers needs and the benefits of technology. You don't have to carry CD's around anymore, you can get music directly to your phone or computer. You have a library of seemingly endless artists and you can make your own playlists instead of having to listen to the format order of albums and mixtapes.
The customization that streaming platforms offer is one of the biggest assets. People listen to one genre of music and we have different moods and artists we want to listen to at different times. Now you can have a playlist made to for any occasion. The large streaming library allows you to search and play songs that may just pop in your memory. CD's and other formats with a strict number of songs and order just don't allow that freedom.
I think Tidal does a good job of taking this idea further by offering exclusive content. The number one thing you have to combat the millions of options and instant availability the internet offers your competition, is having exclusive rights. Tidal offers you interviews, music videos, and even concert tickets to the biggest artists there are today in hip hop and other genres. That is a major draw to consumers, especially after seeing footage from any of the Tidal events. These are shows that you only get one chance to see and you only have one way to get access.
Like Jay-Z said, "It's the Wild Wild West." There are no rules we are all trying to learn our way in this new digital era. However, streaming hip hop music has staked its claim as the new standard in finding and listening to new music.
(I asked my followers what they thought about streaming services and their responses are below. S/O to everybody that participated. Follow me on Twitter @Sicksteen_216.