Jay Z’s Tidal Music Streaming Service to Give Spotify a Run for Its Money

Jay Z is trying to make music history with his newly acquired music streaming service, Tidal. To help promote the new service, Kanye West, Rihanna, Coldplay, Jack White, Madonna, and (of course) Beyoncé turned their Twitter profile pictures turquoise blue and started tweeting about the new service using the hashtag #TIDALforALL.

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What Is Tidal?

Tidal is expected to compete with Spotify, Deezer and other streaming services, including the soon-to-be-relaunched Beats Music from Apple and YouTube’s Music Key. In a recent press release, the company described Tidal as “a single destination for artists and fans to share ideas, exclusive content, songs, videos, studio sessions, rough tracks, personal conversations and more.”

According to the Guardian, Tidal was first launched in October 2014 by Norwegian firm Aspiro. Earlier this month, Project Panther Bidco, a Jay Z-controlled company, purchased Aspiro for $56 million. Tidal was then put on hold, and the site now features a countdown to a relaunch.

Tidal charges a monthly fee of $19.99, which is double that of Spotify’s subscription service, but its key feature is its “lossless” sound quality. Lossless sound quality means the quality of sound is not compromised when music is streamed through a variety of audio products, including portable players. In other words, Tidal makes sure the music sounds exactly the way the artist wanted it to sound no matter how you listen to it.

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Why Spotify Should be Worried About Tidal

Spotify reached 10 million paid subscribers last year, so the music streaming giant is as strong as ever. However, Tidal has an impressive roster of artists backing the new streaming site. Taylor Swift has already removed her catalog from Spotify’s streaming service, and if Tidal can lure enough big artists away from Spotify, then the company might become a major contender in the music streaming space. And so far, it looks like Tidal might already be well on its way.

A report by Showbiz contained leaked information that Jay Z convened a secret summit of artists, including Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Jack White and Rihanna to outline his grand plans. The report stated, “The subject was how they could turn Aspiro — which will be known in the U.S. as TidalHifi when it relaunches — into a streaming and video service akin to the old United Artists pictures, in which artists would actually profit from their art and put out quality material.”

Insiders are speculating that Tidal is offering better deals to artists, which could entice them to also move their discographies over to the new service. If Spotify loses a significant number of their major artists to Tidal, it’s very likely their users will follow suit. And if that happens, Spotify will definitely have a lot more than 99 problems — and Jay Z is sure to be one.

Photo credit: Business Wire