Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Tidal Empire

This weekend I've binged watched the television show "Empire." And without the drama, back-stabbing and sexual content, the Empire music industry – the subject of the show – resembles the new "Tidal" music service.

Let me first praise the "Empire" television series. The plot lines are exceedingly developed and the characters complex. The best shows have characters that aren't simply good or bad. They are both, which makes the show feel more realistic. Empire is truly the Downton Abby of pop music.

Empire, despite its dramatic plot and string of murders, is relevant to today's music industry. The company "Empire" is a lifestyle brand, where the artists aren't just producing records. The company produces videos, shoes, t-shirts and online content for the biggest pop and rap artists. The fictional company puts the biggest names under one label. (Hence the name "Empire.")

Similarly, the real company Tidal seeks to combine pop music's biggest stars into one label. Jay Z, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, J. Cole, etc. etc., will soon be selling their music through the same service. If Tidal is successful, it may bring pop music's biggest stars closer together.

Watching "Empire" has made me wonder what this could mean for pop music. In the show, Empire artists often perform duets because their agents work for the same company. I wonder if Tidal succeeds, could the company create more friendships within the industry? And because Tidal's artists have an invested interest in the success of the company, I think that absolutely, these pop musicians will want to play off each other's success.

Which could bring more duets. Seriously.

Yes--I think the success of Tidal could mean more pop music duets. And let it be known, I will be first in line to buy the new Beyonce and Madonna album.

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