Tidal music relaunches in US as "first artist-owned entertainment platform"

This evening's event saw Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Beyonce, Madonna, Daft Punk and more give a public show of support for the streaming service, as Tidal repositioned itself as "the first ever artist-owned global music entertainment platform".

While there was plenty of focus on Tidal's lossless, CD-quality streaming option, the company revealed it would also be launching a new $10/£10 per month subscription tier, without CD-quality streams, instead offering "up to 320kbps AAC" streams, competing directly with Deezer, Rdio, Spotify and others.

Alicia Keys, announcing the relaunched service, described Tidal as "the future of music... bringing all your favourite music at the touch of a button", and promising "exclusive experiences", suggesting many of the artists involved will be bringing exclusive content to Tidal.

Jay Z used his considerable clout in the music industry to promote the service with a concerted Twitter campaign today, with the #TIDALforALL hashtag trending on Twitter today thanks to support from artists including Beyonce, Coldplay, Deadmau5, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, all of whom subsequently appeared at the press event.

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Amongst some rather grandiose claims about changing the future of the music industry, some of the artists involved did also touch on the importance of the sound quality in the promotional video.

Calvin Harris, one of the biggest dance music producers and DJs in the business, said: "In 2015, we’re making music to the highest level. It sounds more amazing than ever before, in my opinion. And then we’re listening to it on this platform where it’s compressed. I try and make music to the highest quality and that’s why it stood out. You tell people what they’re getting and they’re going to hear the difference."

Jack White, formerly of The White Stripes, added: "We can really educate people as to what digital quality they’re actually hearing. The average person on the street has no idea..."

Tidal, which launched in the UK, Europe and the US at the end of last year, led with lossless, CD-quality streaming for a £20/month subscription price - double the price of rivals such as Spotify.

The service now offers a £10/month price with all the functionality but not the lossless quality music, instead promising "up to 320kbps AAC" sound quality.

Aspiro, the parent company of Tidal and WiMP (a similar service that operated largely in the Nordic region), was bought by Jay Z's Project Panther Bidco company for $56 million earlier this month.

WiMP was then rebranded as Tidal ahead of the relaunch of the service in the US under Jay Z's ownership.

OPINION: Can Tidal take high-quality audio to the mainstream?

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).