“Right now they are writing the story for us. We need to write the story for ourselves,” Jay Z
The First Artist Owned Streaming Music Service
After a brief introduction, only Alicia Keys spoke to the press. “We stand before you today, unified, introducing TIDAL – the first ever artist owned music entertainment platform,” she said in a prepared statement. “Our mission goes beyond commerce and technology… our intent is to preserve music’s importance in our lives. It’s the world’s true universal language.”
Each of the artists on stage received a 3% stake in TIDAL in exchange for exclusive content, sources tell Billboard. How TIDAL exclusives will coexist with existing recording contracts remains unclear.
Also unclear is just what “artist owned” will mean for the tens of thousands of working musicians who increasingly rely on income from streaming. Will TIDAL offer them a better deal and more control; or are those privileges reserved only for Jay Z’s handpicked club?
Beyond the exclusives, TIDAL looks and feels much like other Spotify and other streaming music services. It does offer video and hi-def playback for $19.99 monthly, in addition to the standard $9.99 tier. And comments during the introduction and by Keys hint at enhanced offline playback and other technical enhancements. Unlike Spotify, TIDAL offers no free tier after a 30 day trial.
It remains to be seen if that plus some serious star power is enough to make TIDAL a hit.
Watch the Star Studded TIDAL Press conference: