Jay Z had some serious star power when he and a stageful of fellow big-name artists launched Tidal earlier this week.
Beyoncé, of course, plus Kanye West, Chris Martin, Nicki Minaj, Madonna and more with a reported stake in the streaming service were there urging music fans to ride their latest wave, but not everyone’s saying, “So, long, Spotify”—enter Lily Allen!
Initially, the “Smile” singer’s Tidal opposition was pretty tame. “My concern is that Tidal may set emerging artists back,” she tweeted. “Hosting exclusive [content] from the biggest stars on the planet on a paying platform, while I agree with its intention, I fear it will send people back to pirate/torrent sites.”
It seemed, however, that a tweet from Tidal (which stated that “Around 75% of the monthly subscription is passed back to music labels etc who then distribute to artists & songwriters”) set her off.
“Wow,” Lily wrote in response, “so if you’re a Co owning artist you see a cut of the 25% profit, and let’s face it, probably a larger chunk of the 75% than most artists.”
(E! News reached out to Tidal for comment on how royalties are distributed, but we did not receive an immediate response.)
Lily’s tweets took a more heated turn on Thursday, but her grievances were with the so-called #Tidal 16 and with the record labels receiving royalties from Tidal and other similar streaming services.
She also made a very non-Taylor Swift move. “Spotify aren’t ripping artist off,” she tweeted. “I [heart] Spotify and streaming, but Tidal tried to sell themselves as being…different, ‘giving more to the artist,’ which may well be their long term plan…but actually, they’re denying people the freemium option, and giving more money to major labels. ”
Lily says she’s not bitter, either. “If I wanted to be relevant or as rich as the #Tidal 16, I wouldn’t still be working in music,” she tweeted. “Or I would have shut up and played the game long ago.”
She’s not the only one who isn’t completely sold on the streaming service. Vania Schlogel, Tidal’s chief investment officer and chief industry liaison, addressed some of the backlash in an interview with Billboard saying that “…now there’s so much more to do—we can do anything. Like ‘Hey, can we do this, can we do that going forward?’ Then we just stopped and realized we can do anything.”
“What we’re promising to people is, “This is gonna continue to evolve,” added the Tidal exec, “and we really mean that. We’re a young company, we just took control of it not that long ago, so if anyone is skeptical at all about, “Hey you don’t have that feature or that activity in it,” just bear with us, hold, wait, be patient and invest that time because the artists, me, everyone want to deliver something that’s going to be incredible and continue to evolve.”