Last night on Twitter, a number of music giants including Kanye West, Rihanna and Madonna, sent out tweets promoting the Swedish streaming service TIDAL, which was purchased by a Jay Z fronted investor consortium earlier this year. The acquisition lead to much speculation about Jay’s plans for the service, but I didn’t personally expect to see such a push quite as quickly as we have.
The service, which will compete directly with streaming behemoth Spotify and other services such as the Apple owned Beats, differs in a couple of notable ways from its counterparts. For one, there is no free membership tier, you have to sign up for a paid subscription in order to use the service.
The price had previously been set at $19.99 per month, but it was just slashed in half to $9.99, which puts it more in line with the competition. The other differentiating factor of TIDAL is their commitment to premium audio. The $20 price was originally justified by the fact that you were receiving far higher quality audio that what you’d get through Spotify or even an MP3 purchased on iTunes.
Despite what audio nerds might tell you, this is not something that necessarily matters to the average listener, but now that the price has dropped it’s certainly a bonus worth taking into consideration. That and the fact that you can probably expect certain artists close to Jay to do exclusive content deals with the company.
Jay is set to officially relaunch the service at a press conference in NYC at 5:00 pm which you can watch live below. UPDATED: It’s over, watch the full press conference below.