In what could go down as the most meta marketing moment of 2015, prolific influencer Jay Z unveiled his newest, and long-awaited, music project Monday with a host of other luminary artists, including wife Beyoncé, singers Rihanna and Madonna, rapper Kanye West, and superstars Nicki Minaj and Usher.
All gathered at yesterday’s highly orchestrated announcement in New York to promote and celebrate the relaunch of Tidal, a subscription-based music streaming service. Tidal—formally WiMP, which Jay Z purchased in January—could contend with the likes of music-streaming giant, Spotify.
Aside from its emphasis on high-fidelity (HiFi) audio, details on the service remain limited. Jay Z, his followers, his compatriots, and their followers stormed social media, making waves with bright cyan and global trending hashtags, such as #TIDALforALL. The campaign might prove to be a paradigm for marketers of the future.
This launch of Tidal has sparked my interest. I love Spotify so its gonna be interesting to finally see a competitor in the market.
— 🙂 (@TracieLenee) March 30, 2015
All hype aside, TIDAL is pretty great.
— Trey (@QuesoRepublic) March 30, 2015
Why y’all acting like you have to buy Tidal.
— Coke (@CokeSongz) March 30, 2015
Responses to Tidal—and its attached fanfare—have been surprisingly mixed.
I blocked every celebrity taking part in the #TIDALforALL. U can’t stand up together for real atrocities people face but for your careers??
— anam (@delenasdamie) March 30, 2015
So nice to see rich celebrities coming together to bring awareness to an important cause…padding their bank accounts. #TIDALforALL
— Rachel L. (@RachelRSL) March 30, 2015
#TIDALforALL is an examples of big corporations/celebrities appropriating social justice/online activist ideas to make them money.
— Tatenda|Ubuntu (@NeoAfrican) March 30, 2015
soo “artists” are quick to come together to tell you to buy a service but won’t use their voice to bring light to real issues #TIDALforALL
— ORENDA (@ElektraEyes) March 30, 2015
instead of #TIDALforALL why not make a campaign to HELP people who need it, rather than people who are already rich.
— dale (@plasticdale) March 30, 2015
Really? We’re doing the sort of awareness campaign we’d normally reserve for social issues for a $20-a-month music service? #TIDALforALL
— Mike Riverso (@MikeRiverso) March 30, 2015
The ultimate success of Jay Z’s Tidal campaign may lie in its instant—and sustained—viral momentum. The staunch and poignant criticisms of Tidal seem largely balanced with the sense of puzzlement and excitement, at least in Twitter conversations. Regardless, the launch of Tidel will likely go down as one of the most impressive displays of influencer marketing this side of the Ice Bucket Challenge.