British folk band Mumford & Sons and Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard had some harsh words for Tidal, the music streaming service recently relaunched by Jay Z.
“I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid,” Gibbard said in an interview for The Daily Beast. “That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably.”
Gibbard was apparently unimpressed with Tidal’s star-studded launch in March which featured music artists Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Usher and Deadmau5, as well as Mrs.
“We wouldn’t have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don’t want to be tribal,” frontman Marcus Mumford said in a separate interview with The Daily Beast.
“I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain,” Mumford added. “And when they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists.”
“We don’t want to be part of some Tidal ‘streaming revolution’ nor do we want to be Taylor Swift and be anti-it,” Mumford & Sons guitarist Winston Marshall said.
British singer Lily Allen took to Twitter to take on Tidal. “People are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves.” Allen wrote in a Tweet. “My concern is that Tidal may set emerging artists back,” she wrote in another.
Jay Z and singer Jack White are personally calling users of the Tidal music streaming service amid CEO Andy Chen’s departure and layoffs at the company.
The company said Peter Tonstad, the former CEO of Tidal parent company Aspiro Group, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement for Chen can be found.
Tidal launched last year and was bought by Jay Z in January. The newly relaunched app is seen as a rival to Spotify, though it doesn’t have a free, ad-supported version. Standard definition streaming starts at $9.99 a month, and a high definition audio version goes for $19.99.
The service is aiming to differentiate itself from competitors like Spotify by locking down exclusive streaming windows with artists. Beyonce recently released an exclusive track on the service to coincide with her and Jay Z’s seventh wedding anniversary.