On Monday of this week, Jay Z announced a new business venture with intentions of changing the quality of the music industry forever. He announced his plans for his new music streaming service, Tidal, with the help of artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Alicia Keys, Jason Aldean, Daft Punk, and members of Arcade Fire.
Described as “a platform that’s owned by artists,” the goal of Tidal seems to be restoring the value to the music industry and all of those who contribute to it.
In an interview with Billboard, Jay said, “People are not respecting the music, and [are] devaluing it and devaluing what it really means. People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap, and it’s good water. But they’re OK paying for it. It’s just the mindset right now.”
With streaming services like Pandora, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Tidal’s biggest potential competitor as of now, Spotify, changing the way we access and enjoy music, Jay Z feels as though music is considered “worthless” instead of “priceless” by the masses. After his recent $56 million purchase of Aspiro in February, a publicly traded Swedish tech company, Tidal is his way of bringing the value back to the artists.
One aspect of Tidal that seems to have many people questioning its longevity already has to do with its user experience options. Currently, you can sign up for a 30day trial, with Tidal’s services are being offered at two prices: $9.99/month for regular compressed streamed audio, or $19.99/month for highquality, lossless audio.
There are a wide range of audio formats that music is converted to after it is recorded. MP3 is one of the most compressed of them all, meaning its quality of sound is relatively poor. However, because it is the most compressed format, it is one of the smallest file sizes that still retains enough quality. For $19.99, with Tidal you will have access to 25 million tracks and 75,000 music videos in hidefinition quality, like FLAC, OGG, or AIFF, with other expected offerings to be announced in the future.
Jay Z’s goal seems to be much farther ahead of his time that is receiving a quick return on an investment. In the same interview with Billboard, he said, “We saw the movement and how everything was going and figured that this could possibly be the last music format that we see in this lifetime.”
Tidal is his aim of taking a stand for change once and for all. With a current user base of 500,000 in comparison to Spotify’s 60 million total users, with 15 million of those being paid users, JayZ has his work cut out for him in the streaming industry; however, having a team full of popular artists may be his key to success. Just yesterday, J. Cole announced the release of the second installment in his “Warm Up” series, stating that it will be released exclusively on Tidal today. This could be the first of many releases found exclusively on Tidal that will give it ground to stand on in an industry of titans.