Jack White Defends TIDAL, Asks “What Is Elitist About It?”

In an ostensible Q&A session with fans on the Third Man website, Jack White answered a …

In an ostensible Q&A session with fans on the Third Man website, Jack White answered a batch of questions regarding TIDAL, the artist-owned streaming service launched by JAY Z for which he is involved with. The former White Stripes frontman tackled a slew of hard-hitting questions, such as the price of subscription and the potential elitism associated with the service. Read some excerpts below and to access the full session with fans, visit The Third Man website.

On Third Man's catalogue being on TIDAL:
I want to get all of tomorrow's music on TIDAL, so those songwriters and musicians can get their songs to a bigger audience (remember most of those artists don't get radio airplay) and I want them to get paid royalties for their songs too so they can live.

On artists getting along:
Yes we did. We spent all last night talking and discussing ways to make it very cool. Here's the shocker: musicians want you to hear their music in the best ways possible. We mix on very nice speakers and systems only to have 90% of it be heard on tiny components that cut out half the information.

On TIDAL vs. Spotify prices:
How much did you pay for that last movie you saw at the theater? And how much did that movie cost to make? Don't devalue musicians man, support them. Making records is expensive, believe us, I don't see people saying we should go to the movies for free, or Netflix should be free. That state of music is in flux, be on the side of supporting creativity, not taking from it. This gives you that chance.

On JAY Z's wealth:
A streaming service owned by artists is the first step, it’s not about the rich getting richer. it takes artists that can get peoples attention to be able to make a scenario possible for those artists that don't have a voice to get in a position where they aren’t struggling, and believe me Third Man Records is full of artists the mainstream’s never heard of and have no voice or power in the system. Have you heard of Rachelle Garnier? What about the Smoke Fairies? Drakar Sauna? Pujol? The Gories? Those are just some of the up and coming artists on Third Man that try to make a living in music. And if you stream their songs… they get paid for it. And they get to LIVE and not take second jobs….and make MORE music! I support keeping musicians you love in business. We want a full Third Man roster page on TIDAL that you can stream hundreds of records on, and each time that artist gets something. That’s a beautiful thing.

On its perceived elitism
What is elitist about it? Who's speaking for the little guy?

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