Jay-Z recently acquired a controlling interest in the service, before putting on an event on Monday during which he introduced the new “owners” of Tidal. He was joined on stage by a variety of artists including Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk and Kanye West, writes Mike Snider for USA Today.
A new structure for Tidal
Supposedly all of the artists that appeared at the event have been given 3% equity in the company, with the rest held by Jay-Z himself. According to Alicia Keys, the mission is to “create a better service and better experience for fans and for artists.” In order to do so, Tidal has now launched a $9.99 monthly subscription for standard-definition sound quality, adding a cheaper package to its standard $19.99 monthly fee which allows users to listen to high-definition sound.
New users get a free 7-day trial, but the new package makes Tidal more competitive with Spotify and the imminent Apple rival. Tidal currently boasts a paying customer base of 540,000, but that could grow as the popularity of high-resolution music increases.
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Streaming music through earbuds or portable speakers will not showcase the increased quality of high-res music, but users of Sonos or other WiFi-based streaming speakers will hear a difference, according to Sonos CEO John McFarlane.
Major industry changes
The music streaming industry is set to see a lot of changes over the coming months, with Tidal’s new initiative and Apple’s foray into the streaming arena. One way that Tidal hopes to stand out from the crowd is by offering exclusive content such as videos, studio sessions and interactions with fans.
According to Nina Ulloa of Digital Music News, Tidal will have to pin their hopes on exclusivity and higher quality because it seems unlikely that artists will be able to make their music entirely exclusive to the service.
“I think we’ll definitely see windowing, they’ll offer exclusive streaming on Tidal instead of other streaming services for a period of time,” she said. “I don’t foresee them holding it back from iTunes, physical retail and other stores. That would be like suicide.”
It seems that Tidal will have a tough time taking on industry giants, but they could make a splash with high-quality audio and exclusive content.