In late March of 2015, hip-hop superstar Jay-Z released his own subscription-based music streaming service named Tidal, similar to Spotify.
Jay-Z – along with a star studded team including Deadmau5, Rihanna, and J. Cole – introduced Tidal in order to put music back into the hands of the artists and “restore the value to music,” as The Verge explains.
The service’s main rival, Spotify, does not offer artists a fair share of the revenue for streaming, according to critics. Tidal aims to fix this. For users, Tidal costs $19.99 a month.
The seemingly high price is offset by the fact that Tidal is both ad-free and also offers higher quality audio files, though the difference is barely distinguishable through most headphones.
A $9.99 a month plan is also available, but the audio quality is standard definition. For most business plans, even $9.99 is too expensive to charge. However, the idea is that the service will attract artists to join by promising that no one will listen to their music for free, bringing money back into a music industry that has been making less revenue year after year.
Jay-Z maintains that the program is for the fans, as they get to experience music directly from the musicians at a much higher quality.
Others, however, point to a flawed business plan that seems to only benefit the already rich entrepreneurs of the music industry.