"This is not working, guys," Shawn "Jay Z" Carter says to the room of mostly washed, irrelevant musicians that make up Tidal's board of directors—Ye, Nicki and Rihanna being the only individuals that don't belong in a laundromat. Everyone is clearly frustrated. Beyonce's latest video, "Die With You," which was released exclusively through her husband's streaming service, did little to increase subscribers. On top of that, everyone who streamed J. Cole's "intimate performance" via Tidal had their computers switched to sleep mode indefinitely as soon as it began. In the first month of its existence, Tidal has proven to be the lamest thing the Internet has ever seen.
Mr. Carter scans the room, looking for a musician to put the blame on, before he locks eyes with her. "Madonna, what the fuck?! That wasn't the plan," he shouts like an irresolute middle school vice principal. "You were suppose to grab Drake's dick and start jacking it. You think a kiss is going to increase subscribers? We need to shock people. I can't do this alone. I can't go out and just start jerking dudes' dicks for everyone."
Beyonce tries to console him, but the 45-year-old business(man) is at the end of his rope. Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of Mumford & Sons—the corniest, whitest band of all time—even took shots. "We wouldn't have joined it anyway, even if they asked," the vanilla man said. But Mr. Carter showed Marcus his first TEC at the 2015 Grammys and now dude has the gall to talk shit in the media? Action must be taken.
"We have to do something now," Mr. Carter says. "And, to be honest, I feel like y'all aren't even taking this shit seriously." If you take a look around the room, it's clear Mr. Carter's right. No one really gives a fuck. Nicki Minaj is busy picking out bridesmaids dresses, Rihanna's in a passionate exchange via text message with some dude she met at Coachella named Ernest Baker and Kanye just got up and left, like, thirty minutes ago. If these people ever gave a fuck about Tidal, that fuck has been thrown in the trash along with The Carter V.
Although the only three relevant musicians in the room are absent minded or, in Kanye's case, just absent, Mr. Carter has a plan. In walks 25 college students, all unpaid interns, ready to bring Tidal to the forefront of the music streaming industry. The students are from prestigious colleges all over the country—the University of Phoenix, DeVry and even students from Kaplan—with one mission: Win the hearts and minds of the youth. Considering the average age for those attending online universities is just below 40, Mr. Carter knows he's just bought the winning ticket even if that winning ticket only cost college credit.
Everyone sits in amazement. "Wow, it's the youth," one member of Daft Punk robotically communicates to the other. Madonna runs over to try and jerk one of students off, but Jack White beats her to it. "Everyone calm the fuck down," Mr. Carter says. "We don't need to be fondling these people. They come bearing ideas. They are the youth."
All eyes are on the middle-aged college students now. What insight will they bring? What apps have they created? What drugs do they have for sale?
The leader of the interns, Chelsea, walks up to the head of the table. "Well, we've deliberated for some time, and we think the answer is Twitter," she says.
Mr. Carter looks heated. "What do you mean 'Twitter'? We already switched all of our Twitter avatars to the non-confrontational color that Alyssa said tested well amongst teens. I flew you all out here to tell me about fucking Twitter Dot Com?"
"No, no, no, Mr. Carter," says Chelsea. "Twitter is a great way for people of your caliber to talk directly with your fans. A lot of musicians have used it to grow a fanbase. We think you should use it to respond to Tidal's critics and set the record straight."
Mr. Carter is puzzled. On one hand, this 34-year-old woman surely knows more about youth culture than he does, but, on the other, will responding to Tidal's criticism serve as an admission of defeat? He looks at his gorgeous wife for some sort of guidance, but now she's engaged in the conversation happening on Rihanna's phone.
"I have an account. I guess we can fire it up," Mr. Carter says reluctantly.
With the help of his young interns, Mr. Carter opens Twitter Dot Com and signs in.
"All we need to do, Mr. Carter, is tell your fans everything is okay. Reassure the people that we're in the beginning stages, that you genuinely care about up-and-coming artists and maybe even that you're looking for new talent yourself."
"My cousin is out in Africa right now on vacation. We could say he's there looking for new artists."
"Perfect! That's the type of stuff people want—no—need to know, that you've got people on the ground in Africa looking for talent. We just need an organic way to begin these tweets though. We don't want this to seem orchestrated."
"How about we start off by saying: 'Guys, I Swear It's Better Than Spotify'?" asks Mr. Carter.
"I really, really, really like that idea, but I'm not sure the Twittersphere can handle such brashness," says Chelsea. "We need something a little more…subtle. This isn't a PowerPoint presentation. It's more of a...stream of consciousness."
"That's it!" yells another intern. "Title it 'Stream of Consciousness.' No one will know there was a youthful marketing team behind it at all!"
Mr. Carter studies the boardroom. At this point, everyone's hovering around Rihanna's phone in awe, completely ignoring Mr. Carter and the middle-aged interns.
"Fuck it," says Mr. Carter. "Stream of consciousness coming in 5, 4, 3, 2."
Brian Padilla is a writer living in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter here.