Everyone has seen the video (if you live under a rock -- see above) with all the super famous and incredibly talented artists sitting together in a table that went viral, but who actually knows what it was for? Anyone? #TIDALFORALL was the only “explanation” given. Well, here is what all the hooplah about.
Since January there’s been rumors that Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, had been bidding on a Swedish music technology firm called Aspiro. The firm had 90 days to respond to the offer, so in the beginning of March an agreement was reached. A formal announcement, from the company, was made March 13th stating that the deal was done and done! Jay-Z’s 56 million dollar offer was unconditionally accepted by the Aspiro’s board, making him the newest owner. Now, we may all be familiar with Jay-Z's habit of venturing into new businesses and increasing his ever-growing empire; so what’s special about this deal? Tidal, the streaming music brand within Aspiro, is being relaunched and is now the first ever artist-owned music streaming company. The majority of Tidal will be owner by other singer, behind Jay-Z. This new business deal allows artists to get out of the shadow of carriers and actually have a say again in how their music is being streamed. In the words of Madonna “it’s time we go back to human art, not technology art. Human art”.
This past Monday, March 30th 2015 was Tidal’s official press conference where a line of artists including Madonna, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Nick Minaj, Usher, Kayne West, Calvin Harris, Usher, country singer Jason Aldean, French dancer duo Daft Punk, Alicia Keys and others briefly laid out the company’s terms and promise: “better service and better experience for fans and artist”. The new streaming outlet will have two subscription options, both paid [bummer!]. The first one is Tidal Premium, $9.99 a month for a compressed, standard format (also available in most digital outlets), and the other one is Tidal HiFi $19.99 a month for high quality sound and high definition videos. All the newly owners seemed very excited about this deal, as they had been frustrated with the industry for a while for being treated as a “product”.
Undoubtedly, Tidal will present great competition to companies such as Spotify, and iTunes, but there are also questions about other artists, not from Jay-Z’s inner circle, actually joining this new era in the music industry. We already have the devices capable of streaming quality sound, we just needed an outlet that would actually stream it that way. Well, the wait is over. Tidal for All is here. It’ll just come down to who’s willing to pay to hear it. Literally. All I can say is, I haven’t seen a group of people as exciting as this get together in a very long time, if ever. So, Tidal already did that for me.