Sprint Acquires a Stake in TIDAL

Monday, January 23rd, 2017


Mobile carrier Sprint has acquired a 33% stake in Jay Z’s TIDAL music streaming service according a press release circulated by the company today (January 23rd). Through the terms of the deal, Sprint will make TIDAL available to its user base of 45 million customers. It is unclear whether or not this access will be free of charge to those customers or if some sort of premium will be tacked onto their bill.

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Kanye Blames Apple, TIDAL & Jay Z for WTT2 Delay

Thursday, October 20th, 2016


It’s hard to deny the ease and convenience of the streaming era for music consumers. It can’t be overstated how much frustration and time is saved by not having to purchase or download individual mp3s, then upload them or add them to whatever cloud music storage system you prefer in order to get what you want where you want it.

Being able to simply click on a track and add it to a playlist is ridiculously simple and having an enormous library of music at your fingertips makes it so much easier to discover new (or old) artists, tracks and albums.

But I have long been of the opinion that this ongoing war between streaming services is an affront to customers. In their effort to distinguish themselves from each other, some of these services (notably Apple and TIDAL) have went all in on the despicable “exclusives” trend.

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Is Apple About to Buy TIDAL?

Thursday, June 30th, 2016


According to reports that surfaced on Thursday (June 30) Apple may be in talks to potentially acquire Jay Z’s TIDAL streaming service. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is interested in the service because of its strong ties to artists, though those same sources characterized the negotiations as “ongoing”, saying they might not result in a deal at all. For what it’s worth, a TIDAL spokesperson denied that any talks have occurred with Apple.

We went through this back in February when rumors of Samsung’s interest in the platform surfaced. Nothing seems to have come of that, but all of this attention from major tech powers can only be good for the streaming service. Despite their relatively low subscriber base of about 4.2 million, they are clearly seen as a big enough threat (or asset) by these larger companies that they are exploring their options.

Previously: DJ Khaled ft. Jay-Z & Future – I Got The Keys (Video)

Is Samsung About to Buy TIDAL?

Friday, February 26th, 2016


According to a report from the New York Post published today, electronics giant Samsung is very interested in purchasing Jay Z’s digital music streaming service TIDAL. Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, the paper claims that Google and Spotify have also expressed interest in the relatively young service, but Samsung has been far more aggressive in its pursuit. “Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks,” a source is quoted as saying. What this project entails and how TIDAL fits into their plans is anybody’s guess.

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Kanye Threatens to Make #TLOP a TIDAL Exclusive

Monday, February 15th, 2016


Here’s a tweet Kanye sent out a little while ago.

I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is a bad idea.

I don’t know what the motivation behind such a maneuver is or could possibly be, but whatever it is can not possibly outweigh what should be his number one consideration: the fans. The simple fact is, people want to be able to listen to their music within whatever streaming ecosystem they prefer. Be it Apple Music, Amazon, TIDAL, Spotify, or downloaded as mp3s on their phone, whatever. The average listener is all out of fucks to give about the epic battle these corporations are waging over supremacy in the digital music space. We just want to be able to stream and download what we want to stream and download, easily.

This exclusive access shit is quite frankly, for the birds. The fact that one service has the exclusive rights to stream the music of one particular artist isn’t going to make the majority of people sign up for that service. TIDAL and Apple Music, two of the biggest offenders in this exclusive access standoff, are both products that have been on the market for several months now. I could be wrong, but I feel like most people have made up their minds at this point and I can’t see the availability one artist’s catalog swaying them.

For all of their money, knowledge and supposed expertise in this field, these companies don’t seem to understand that these walled gardens they are creating just promote bootlegging and piracy. If I was going to guess, I’d say Kanye is doing this to help out his Big Brother Jay’s company, which some would argue has struggled somewhat in its first year or so of operation. The other factor could be that he owns some stake in TIDAL so he’ll presumably be seeing a bigger portion of proceeds from what would surely be an enormous amount of streams.

But the college kid who is busting his ass at H&M or McDonald’s everyday and then forking over a portion of his hard earned money to Spotify and Apple doesn’t necessarily want to fork over more money to yet another service with a very similar catalog. That kid is just gonna download a zip file of the album and be done with it.

And you can say that person isn’t a true fan, or they should go out of their way to support or whatever, but that’s bullshit. This business is a two way street. Artists succeed at the pleasure of their fans, plain and simple. I’m using Kanye’s tweet as an example here (he might have changed his mind while I was writing this), but this is something all artists need to consider. Fans spend money we have earned to enjoy and support these artists, I feel like the least the artists can do is make it as easy as possible for us to do so.

UPDATED: Kanye West Says ‘The Life of Pablo’ Will Never Be For Sale and Only on Tidal, Sources Express Confusion (Billboard)

UPDATED: Here’s an interesting passage from Torrentfreak on how much the album has been bootlegged:

TorrentFreak has been keeping a close eye on the popularity of the album on BitTorrent and after the first day an estimated 500,000 people have already grabbed a copy.

The album is currently leading The Pirate Bay’s list of most shared music torrents by a landslide. At the time of writing close to 10,000 people were sharing a copy of the most popular torrent simultaneously, something we haven’t seen with a music release before.

via Andy B’s The Messy Rollout—and Aftermath—of Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’

Previously: Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo Has Arrived

Birdman Sues TIDAL Over Lil Wayne Music

Thursday, July 16th, 2015


Back when we found out that Lil Wayne had inked a deal with Jay Z’s TIDAL streaming service to become a part-owner and to make his Free Weezy Album and other music available to listeners, it seemed like Wayne had made a shrewd business decision to diversify his income streams while he litigated his release from his longtime label.

But now Birdman is saying, not so fast Dwayne. In a new lawsuit filed against TIDAL, Cash Money Records claims that according to the terms of the company’s contract with Weezy, the Rapper does not have the ability to license his music to a third party. The suit seeks $50 million in damages and even goes so far as to take pot shots at both TIDAL and the Free Weezy Album, which it claims received “tepid reviews”.

From TMZ:

The lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, gets nasty, with Cash Money claiming Jay Z’s fledgling company is now resorting to “a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service.”

I guess we should have fully expected this kind of play from Baby sooner or later though. There was no way he was about to sit on his hands and allow Wayne to eat with Jay while the lawsuit played out. Unfortunatley for him, he may have signifigantly bigger problems on the horizon.

Previously: Lil Wayne Tour Bus Shooter Called Birdman After Incident

Jay Z Relaunches TIDAL Streaming Service

Monday, March 30th, 2015

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. UPDATED: As it turns out, the price has not been reduced, the high quality audio plan is still 19.99, while the standard plan is available for 10 bucks.

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.

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