Jay Z has spoken out to defend his new streaming app Tidal after he was accused of designing the service to line the pockets of super-rich artists instead of focusing on the needs of fans.
The hip-hop heavyweight enlisted his wife Beyonce and a number of his famous friends, including Kanye West and Rihanna, to help him unveil the relaunched company in a blaze of publicity last week (30Mar15).
However, Tidal soon came under fire from fans and artists, including British pop star Lily Allen, who declared the company's high subscription fees and lack of a free service, which is provided by rival Spotify, could drive music-lovers back to illegal downloads.
Jay Z has now addressed the allegations and insisted his higher priced service, which has a top charge of $19.99 per month - around double the price of Spotify's top tier - actually aims to provide more money for the writers and producers behind hit songs.
Speaking during a question and answer session at New York University's Tisch School's Clive Davis Institute of Record Music, he explains, "For us, it's not us standing here saying we're poor musicians. If you provide a service, you should be compensated for it.
"And not just artists - just think about the writers and the producers. Like an artist can go do a Pepsi deal or something... they can go get an endorsement deal... and... go on tour and sustain themselves, it helps their lifestyle. But what about the writers who do that for a living? The producers? That's it for them... I think we'll lose a lot of great writers in the future because you have to do something else, because you can't sustain a lifestyle, and I think that's a shame. That someone has that talent and just isn't being compensated."