Tidal Music Streaming Service Relaunched by Rapper Jay Z
Taking on competitors including Spotify, Google Play, Apple and more, Tidal will provide high-fidelity streaming while aiming to improve royalty payments to musicians.After buying the streaming music service Aspiro in January, rap musician Jay Z has relaunched the service, called Tidal, as a high-fidelity music offering exclusive content that returns reasonable music royalties to the artists whose music it features. A hugely popular rap artist, Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Corey Carter, unveiled the relaunch of Tidal in an announcement in New York on March 30, along with a wide range of singers and musicians who were identified as the owners of the music service, according to an article in The New York Times. Attending with him for the announcement were music stars Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Alicia Keys, country singer Jason Aldean, Daft Punk and Beyoncé (who is married to Jay Z).
Jay Z paid $56 million for Tidal and its Aspiro mothership in January as a way for the rapper to help create a streaming music service that emphasizes quality sound for users while creating a venue where musicians can be paid equitably for their work, The Times article said. The majority of the new Tidal will be owned by participating musicians, who in the past had little control over their work or revenue streams.
The company apparently intends to take on the existing music streaming model of companies such as Spotify, which offer users free music in addition to options to subscribe to music subscriptions. Some musicians, such as superstar Taylor Swift, have fought some of the free music offerings, arguing that the artists are not being paid for their work. Swift pulled her own music from Spotify last year due to her objections.Tidal offers more than 25 million song tracks, 75,000 music videos, and curated editorial articles, features and interviews on an ad-free platform for monthly subscriptions of $9.99 or $19.99, according to the service. The cheaper rate will provide sound quality rivaling that of other services, while the more expensive version will provide CD-quality sound. Unlike its competitors, the company will not offer a free version of the service. Users can download the Tidal app from the company's Website or from Apple's iTunes app store or the Google Play store. The service offers high-quality sound recordings that feature lossless sound quality (FLAC/ALAC 44.1KHz /16 bit to 1411K bps) at a bit rate about four times that of competing music services for clear, bright and realistic sound playback, according to the company. Tidal service will be available in some 31 countries.