Jack White Defends Tidal & Jay Z: 'Should Movies Be Free Too?'

Miller Mobley
Jack White photographed at Third Man Records in Nashville on Jan. 15, 2015.

Jack White came to bat for Tidal on Wednesday (May 20), taking to the website of his label, Third Man Records, to post answers to a series of Tidal-related questions.

Through the dialogue, White stressed valuing music, thus allowing artists to make a living off their work. "A streaming service owned by artists is the first step, it's not about the rich getting richer," he argued, addressing criticism that's been dogging Tidal since it unveiled its stakeholder panel of A-list artists. "It takes artists that can get people's 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."

'Tidal Blew It': All the Artists That Have Hammered Tidal

When questioned about the alleged elitism of Tidal, White rebuked, "What is elitist about it? Who's speaking for the little guy?" 

On that note, White emphasized why paying for music is important, even if artists are already wealthy. "Should movies be free too? How about food?" he asked. Then he went deeper on the comparison to the film industry: "Do we tell Steven Spielberg we don't need to pay him anymore to watch his movies? He's made enough off of us, right? He should show his new films for free, right?"

How Tidal's Exclusives Could Hurt a Song's Chart Position

Finally, White said he would like to get the entirety of Third Man's catalog onto the streaming platform in the future. Currently, he offers a 75 percent discount on Tidal Hi-Fi subscriptions to those who purchase Third Man's Platinum Vault option.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.