Wow, it must be 2004 because all of a sudden everyone is rushing to get into the streaming music business. It seems like we just finished talking about Music Key, YouTube’s long awaited and still-in-the-works streaming music service, and now there’s another entry. Last night, hip hop mogul Jay Z threw his hat into the streaming ring by announcing the relaunch of Tidal, his own subscription-based streaming music service, with a star-studded social media blitz that set Twitter buzzing.
Together, we can turn the tide and make music history. Start by turning your profile picture blue. #TIDALforALL
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 30, 2015
Jay Z and frequent collaborator Kanye West called on artists and fans to change their social media profile pictures to a solid block of blue and tweet under the hashtag #TIDALforALL. It was a savvy move that allowed fans to quickly identify the big name artists that are coming along for the ride with Tidal. Beyoncé, Rihanna, Madonna, Daft Punk, and Calvin Harris are just a few of the artists signed on for the launch.
Jay acquired Tidal, a streaming service specializing in “high definition” music content, last month. At the time the services boasted just 12,000 users. Under its new leadership, Tidal has shifted its focus from high def sound to premium content and artist star power. Similar to video subscription services like Vessel, Jay Z is hoping that users will be willing to pay top dollar for subscriptions in exchange for exclusive content and early access to music from top artists on Tidal.
Music makes the people come together. Join Madonna and turn your profile picture blue. Do it for the music. #TIDALforALL
— Madonna (@Madonna) March 30, 2015
Plans for the service are still hazy, but it’s expected to compensate artists more handsomely for their musical contributions. Competitors like Spotify have long faced complaints from artists, including high profile stars like Taylor Swift, about the comparatively measly payouts they receive for their music. YouTube’s Music Key service has been similarly burned with claims that it strong-arms artists into accepting paltry payouts. Tidal aims to rectify that, but will fans be willing to pony up $20 a month to get their ears on an early play of the latest Rihanna single?
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