Stars put money behind new music streaming service Tidal

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2014 file photo, Jay-Z performs at the 3rd Global Citizen Festival at Central Park in New York. Madonna, Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay Z are among the A-List musicians who are co-owners of the streaming service Tidal. Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Nicki Minaj also announced that they are co-owners of the streaming service at an event Monday, March 30, 2015, in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (MEDIA GENERAL) – Alicia Keys told a crowd in New York Monday night that new music streaming service Tidal will “forever change the course of music history.” Keys is just one of many A-list celebrities who are co-owners of Tidal.

The list reads like a who’s who of the industry. Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Usher, deadmau5 and Nicki Minaj are among some of the others. The stars changed their profiles turquoise on Monday to create buzz for the launch of the artist owned platform.

“So we come together before you on this day, March 30th, 2015, with one voice in unity in the hopes that today will be another one of those moments in time, a moment that will forever change the course of music history. For today we announce of Tidal, the first ever artist-owned, global music and entertainment platform,” Keys said Monday.

Tidal describes itself as the “first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial.” What does that mean? It appears to be positioning itself as a high-quality music and music-lovers service. It says it has a better sound experience, articles on artists and music written by experts, and music videos all in one and all without ads.

The question is will people pay for this new experience? Tidal is asking people to pay double or triple what some of its competitors cost for high definition, but there is a cheaper rate for standard definition.

Tidal By the Numbers:

  • 25 million tracks available
  • 75,000 music videos available
  • $19.99/month for Hi-Def, $9.99/month for standard definition service

Spotify By the Numbers:

  • More than 30 million tracks available
  • Free with ads or $9.99/month for premium

Pandora By the Numbers:

  • More than 1.5 million tracks available
  • Free with ads or $4.99/month for premium

When we contacted Pandora about Tidal’s launch. It responded by saying it focuses on quality over quantity. Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews said, “We believe we’ve cracked the code on providing the best lean-back listening experience ever created.”

According to, Tidal is offering musicians better terms than other similar services. Techcrunch reports the music-makers, in some cases, are getting twice as much as they do with Tidal’s rivals.


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