While we got carried away with the election collation and results announcements in Nigeria yesterday, somewhere in the US, history was being made.
A host of the biggest names in the music industry have joined forces to launch Tidal, a streaming service being billed as the first artist-owned platform for music and video.
Rihanna, Madonna, Beyonce, Usher, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Jack White and Kanye West joined a host of other stars as they were revealed as co-owners of the subscription service, which is the brainchild of Jay-Z.
Unlike rivals Spotify, the service will not have a free tier – meaning the musicians stand to make more money from it. Jay-Z, Kanye, and Beyonce unite music’s biggest stars to launch new Tidal streaming service to kill off Spotify and get a bigger cut for themselves (for $20-a-month)
Alicia Keys said the artists hope Tidal will ‘forever change the course of music history’ and ensure the viability of the industry at Monday’s launch event in New York City.
The celebrities – which also included Nicki Minaj, Jason Aldean, Usher, Arcade Fire and deadmau5 – stood in a line, and in solidarity by mostly wearing black onstage as Keys spoke to the audience at Skylight at Moynihan Station in Manhattan.
Keys called the event ‘a graduation.’
‘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.
However, details about the streaming service were vague.
WHAT IT WILL COST
The membership-based service – similar to subscription service Spotify – will provide music and exclusive video content that users can stream on computers, tablets and smartphones or listen to offline.
Unlike Spotify there isn’t a free service.
It is being offered to U.S. users at two price points: about $9.95 for standard sound quality and $19.99 for ‘lossless high fidelity sound quality.’
Tidal streams at 1,411 kilobytes per second – well above the 320 for premium subscribers of Spotify, which offers lower levels for free users.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Calvin Harris, who both appeared via video, are also co-owners.
‘Our mission goes beyond commerce, it goes beyond technology.
‘Our intent is to preserve music’s importance in our lives,’ Keys said.
‘Music is the language of love, of laughter, of heartbreak, of mystery. It’s the world’s true, true, without question, universal language.’
Each of the owners signed documents at the event as the audience screamed when they walked to a table in the center of the stage.