There haven't been many occasions when Jay Z tells the public to move, and we don't.
His latest step, into music streaming, as he did with Magna Carter Holy Grail, is a #newrules answer to a much cried plea. Artists deserve more, by way of longterm financial support, representation in political arenas, and respect for creative boundaries.
"This could possibly be the last music format that we see in this lifetime," Jay explained in a conversation with Billboard. "We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow and if, you know, the very least we did was make people wake up and try to improve the free vs. paid system, and promote fair trade, then it would be a win for us anyway."
Mr. Carter has brought in a slew of artists, from across the board in regards to genre, as shareholders and consultants. Success, he says, is, "If Aloe Blacc and his writers, the guys he wrote with, are not seeing a $4,000 check from 168 million streams. ... If in 12 months everyone is having that discussion and a dialogue, and everyone is understanding that streaming’s not a bad thing, I’m happy."
He's also taking a decidedly non-competitive stance. "It’s not me against Spotify, but for us, you know, just the idea of the way we came into it, with everyone having equity, will open the dialogue — whether it be with the labels, the publishers or whoever. ... Even if it means less profit for our bottom line, absolutely. That’s easy for us. We can do that. Less profit for our bottom line, more money for the artist; fantastic. Let’s do that today."
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(Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Roc Nation)