Tidal, the music streaming platform owned by Block, has ended its Direct Artist Payouts (DAP) program. The DAP program allowed a percentage of HiFi Plus subscribers’ membership fees to go to their most-streamed artist. Tidal paid this on top of actual streaming royalties. The program was ended after Tidal enrolled around 70,000 artists and distributed approximately $500,000. The company’s CEO, Jesse Dorogusker, announced the end of the program and said that Tidal is now focusing on Tidal Rising. This initiative will receive more than ten times the amount that was paid out via DAP. The funds will be used to support emerging artists through education, custom promotion, and future direct-funding.
Direct Artist Payouts Program Was Too Limited
Dorogusker revealed that the DAP program focused only on a listener’s top-streamed artist, which left little room for emerging artists to get paid. This limitation prompted Tidal to end the program and seek a more impactful initiative. Tidal wants to support emerging artists better and find ways to help them get their music out to a broader audience.
Tidal Rises as a Solution
Tidal’s solution is Tidal Rising, which is “a space dedicated to introducing fans to fresh and dynamic music from emerging acts.” As part of this initiative, Tidal will focus on backing and celebrating emerging artists through education, custom promotion, and future direct-funding. The initiative will provide more funds to help emerging artists, which will enable them to grow their fan base and get their music heard.
Universal Music Group Partnership
In January 2023, Tidal partnered with Universal Music Group to develop a “new economic model for music streaming” that will better reward the value provided by artists. The partnership aims to create a system that more closely reflects the engagement of Tidal subscribers with the artists and music they love. Tidal’s CEO did not mention how this partnership would fit into Tidal Rising’s buildout. However, the partnership is expected to provide Tidal with more “direct funding” in the future.