Jay Z has enlisted a cavalcade of high-profile musicians to help him convince music lovers that they want to spent $240 per year on a streaming service.
You might have noticed that some of your favorite artists' social media profiles have gone light blue, and the reason for that is a new music streaming service called Tidal. It's not exactly new new, as it's been around for a little while. But the service is gearing up for a big relaunch on Monday – at about 5pm EST according to a countdown on the official site.
Tidal is billed as "the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial." High-quality, lossless FLAC music is the major selling point of Tidal from the consumer standpoint, and more fairness in how they're paid for streams is the main selling point from the artists' standpoint. As you can see, Tidal's marketing campaign is heavy on the "revolution" imagery.
"The Tides They Are-A Changing" #TIDALforALL
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) March 30, 2015
Why Jay Z? He acquired Swedish company Aspiro for $56 million, and with that came its Tidal music service. What Jay Z has done is enlist a rather impressive bunch of celebrities to jump on board the new service. Here's a handful of said artists:
Change your avi in support of what is fair, of what is the future. The tides have changed, Barbz.… https://t.co/UqGLHerO37
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) March 30, 2015
Together we can make music history. Show support and make your profile photo blue. Turn the tide. #TIDALforALL
— Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) March 30, 2015
— Coldplay (@coldplay) March 30, 2015
Tides are about to turn. #TIDALforALL
— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) March 30, 2015
Together we can make music history. Start by turning your profile pics blue. #TIDALforALL
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) March 30, 2015
— Rihanna (@rihanna) March 30, 2015
It's time to turn the tide and make music history. Show you are part of the movement by turning your profile pic blue. #TIDALforALL
— Usher Raymond IV (@Usher) March 30, 2015
Together, we can turn the tide and make music history. Start by turning your profile picture blue. #TIDALforALL
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 30, 2015
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
Tidal recently became the exclusive place to stream Taylor Swift's catalog. You may recall the singer pulled her music from Spotify this past November, saying she "just doesn't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free."
Tidal has no free tier. It's $19.99 per month, twice the cost of Spotify premium. And the whole "join the revolution" angle is prompting some negative feedback online:
#TIDALforALL is an examples of big corporations/celebrities appropriating social justice/online activist ideas to make them money.
— Tatenda|Ubuntu (@NeoAfrican) March 30, 2015
Another way to appeal to the avg consumer is by making them pay twice as much to listen to music on the same bad headphones. #TIDALforALL
— Brendon Bigley (@brendonbigley) March 30, 2015
That moment you realize #TIDALforALL is not a movement for a good cause but jus to fill someone's pockets.
— Jill (@JillyPopTht) March 30, 2015
— #RobThisTidal (@OgaLamzy) March 30, 2015
As of now, Tidal only boasts about 17,000 paying subscribers. There's a lot of star power behind this new venture, but selling people on a $20 per month streaming service with no free option isn't going to be easy. In the end, it will come down to just how exclusive the content is on Tidal. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Looks like Tidal has cut its subscription fee in half:
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) March 30, 2015
Image via sashimomura, Wikimedia Commons