Digital & Mobile, News — March 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Jay Z assembles all star cast to launch new streaming app Tidal


Jay Z may have 99 problems but getting a cadre of celebrities to endorse his newest business acquisition isn’t one. Earlier today he led a group of some the most influential musicians in the world onto stage in a relaunch of lossless streaming service Tidal.



The service is billed as the first artist-owned platform for music and video and is a clear signal to the music world that they are taking aim at music streaming services Spotify, Pandora, Deezer ad Rdio. Since acquiring the Norwegian company for $56m earlier this month, not much was known about what his exact plans were until earlier today, when Jay Z tweeted “The Tides They Are-A-Changing” with the hashtag #TIDALforALL.


The same day, Jay Z organized a press conference in New York City and a roll call of some of the industries heavyweights, parading the star studded cast onto stage to rapturous applause from the audience.


Alicia Keys took to the podium, with a rambling, incoherent  speech that managed to fuse together quotes from Hendrix and Nietzsche in the context of a new music app for probably the first time in history. She describing Tidal as “the first artist-owned global music and entertainment platform” and promising to “create a better service and a better experience for both fans and artists … where we will deliver exclusive experiences that cannot be found anywhere else”.


From here the musicians, in a bizarre spectacle, took turns walking across the stage to sign some form of ‘declaration’ that was not clearly articulated, with Madonna taking the opportunity to mount the table for no apparent reason. From here things got a bit weird and the group stood in palpable awkward silence for the next two minutes until the lights dimmed and they walked off stage.


The service promises better quality audio but at a price point of $19.99 per month, double that of other music streaming services. The company has eagerly been pursuing exclusive deals with artists, some of whom have bemoaned the miserly payments they receive from rival streaming services. One major scalp they’ve taken early on is acquiring the back catalogue of Taylor Swift, who removed her music from Spotify earlier in the year.


Rihanna, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Jack White, Kanye West, Alicia Keyes and Madonna are amongst the a A-list musicians who co-own the service and they produced a video, presumably in an attempt to make you feel sorry about them not getting their fare share of royalties.



The clip shows celebrities like Nicki Minaj, LL Cool J, Chris Martin and Jack White coming together to plug the service. “We’re going to change the course of history forever today” Jay Z says on camera whilst other celebrities dole out buzz words in no particular context like “the final frontier” and “this is the last stand” before toasting champagne served in crystal glassware amongst the lavish surrounds of, no doubt, one of the celebrity pack’s estates in the Hamptons.


The ongoing success of this venture is speculation at this point but with his crew of celebrity partners potentially releasing exclusively through Tidal, Jay Z is sure to have a disruptive effect on the industry as a whole. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.