Norwegian streaming service WiMP recently launched its lossless-quality offering TIDAL in the US and UK.
We caught up with WiMP/Tidal´s Head of Editorial Sveinung Rindal this week to find out how the company´s UK/US launch has gone down, what he can learn US university students and what Norwegian acts are the mainstay of his WiMP offline playlists.
Sveinung, you recently went over to NYC to lecture at the New York University with a talk titled ‘A Retail Look At The New Streaming Reality – From traditional storefronts to the new digital market place’. What was it like to make the transition from WiMP´s Head of Editorial into an university lecturer?
– It was really rewarding. And fun! To meet genuinely interested music/arts-students is always rewarding, but to be an NYU student is a totally different ball-game compared to my years at (Norway’s) Bø University College. The students attend mandatory classes, and were very active and reflected during the sessions. Suffice to say, it was a honorable assignment to be a conveyor of knowledge and experience for the students.
Norway – miles ahead
If you are to make a comparison between the Norwegian and US streaming markets; can one still claim that Norway is ahead of the US in terms of streaming music service adaptation?
– I think it’s safe to say that the Norwegian streaming market is miles ahead of the US one – something that the market players fully realize. This is much more of an issue of an incorporated system than pure knowledge. In general, I’d say that the people I met in NY, artists and record labels alike, are pleased with the development and have clear expectations for things to happen in the marketplace.
With several years’ worth of experience on the Norwegian streaming market behind you, would you say that you and WiMP have gained knowledge that could prove valuable for the US music industry?
– Over the five years we’ve spent working on WiMP, I feel that we can say that we’ve learnt much that has a solid value when we are entering into new markets. USA is a new market for us, but all sales reports indicate that streaming is strengthening its position in the marketplace against falling physical sales and also diminishing downloads. Through WiMP HiFi, we’ve managed to create a unique product that no other player can match, and which we, in turn, can now launch in new markets as TIDAL. On an editorial level, we’ve come a long way since the start up – what we are now presenting through TIDAL represents, in my opinion, a high journalistic standard.