Record labels must be running for cover, the music business is changing and in a major way. 16 hit-makers 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. Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire's Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Jay Z, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Usher Calvin Harris and Coldplay's Chris Martin.
Unlike rivals Spotify, the service will not have a free tier - meaning the musicians stand to make more money from it. 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. Tidal will not offer a free version of the service; the standard-audio version (Tidal Premium) will be $9.99 per month and the high-def audio version (Tidal HiFi) will be $19.99 per month. Both tiers are free to try out for 30 days, according to the company.
Tidal says it provides a library of more than 25 million tracks, 75,000 music videos and curated editorial articles. The service is available across iOS and Android devices, as well as in Web browsers and desktop players, available in the U.S. and 30 other countries at launch. Tidal provides streaming quality at more than four times the bit rate of competitive services, according to the startup.