The relaunch followed Jay Z’s purchase of the Swedish streaming firm Aspiro for $56 million earlier this month, home to both Tidal and WiMP. It claims to offer higher audio resolution than current streaming services on the market like Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, and iTunes. High-definition subscriptions to Tidal start at $19.99, with an option to subscribe to standard-definition at $9.99.
The star-studded press conference and launch featured appearances from 16 pop icons that, according to Billboard, all hold a three percent share in the company. Alongside the affluent backing of Tidal’s high-def service, Jay Z promises that the platform will offer exclusive content from these artists and more. It is his hope that Tidal will revive the music industry and allow artists proper compensation for their work.
“People are not respecting the music, and devaluing what it really means,” Jay Z told Billboard. “People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap and it’s good water. But they’re okay paying for it. It’s just the mindset right now.”
Coming in at 540,000, Tidal’s subscription numbers are low to compete with Spotify’s millions. The difference lies in Tidal’s ability to offer listeners lossless over AAC streamed files, meaning higher fidelity sound for users that own headphones or speakers with the capability to stream at higher bit rates.
It will be interesting to see what kind of exclusive content Tidal will release (maybe new Daft Punk music is just around the corner) or if their subscriptions will rise in the coming months. In the meantime, you can head to Tidal’s website to watch the entire press release video and start your free trial of their service here.