What is Tidal?

Yesterday saw the announcement of brand new streaming service Tidal, now being billed as the world's first artist-owned platform for both music and video. But just why does the world need another streaming service, and why is Jay Z so passionate about bringing this to the forefront of the music industry? There are a number of reasons, many of which have now seen some of the biggest names in the business join forces with the service.

Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna, Kanye West, Usher, Arcade Fire, Jack White and Daft Punk are just some of the stars revealed as co-owners of the subscription service - the brainchild of Jay Z - and it's notable that unlike other rival streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, there is no free tier to Tidal, meaning musicians will stand to make more money from it.

Alicia Keys explained the importance of Tidal / Credit: Tidal
Alicia Keys explained the importance of Tidal / Credit: Tidal

Speaking at the launch event on Monday in New York City, Alicia Keys said that the artists involved hope that Tidal can "forever change the course of music history". She stood in a line of solidarity with other stars which also included Nicki Minaj and deadmau5, speaking to the audience in Manhattan's Skylight at Moynihan Station.

"So we come together before you on this day, March 30th, 2015, with one voice in unity in the hopes that today will be another one of those moments in time, a moment that will forever change the course of music history.

"For today we announce of Tidal, the first ever artist-owned, global music and entertainment platform."

Further details on the streaming service were vague, but one thing that was revealed was pricing.

How much will it cost?

American users can choose from one of two price points: around $9.95 a month for standard sound quality and $19.99 a month for "lossless high fidelity sound quality."

Those who want to use Tidal in the United Kingdom will have to shell out £20 a month.

It's worth stating that Tidal is marketing itself as the way in which artists intended their music to be heard, with higher quality streaming than that of its rivals.

Why is Tidal important for artists?

Madonna signed as a co-owner at the event / Credit: Tidal
Madonna signed as a co-owner at the event / Credit: Tidal

It was claimed recently that artists are to set to earn double the streaming rates of rival Spotify, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Further comments from Alicia Keys say that Tidal is part of a wider "mission".

"Our mission goes beyond commerce, it goes beyond technology.

"Our intent is to preserve music's importance in our lives.

"Music is the language of love, of laughter, of heartbreak, of mystery. It's the world's true, true, without question, universal language."

She went on to ask the crowd to "think about how many times music has personally picked you up and reminded you that you can do it again."

"Music speaks to all of us," she continued. "Music brings us together, it connects us all.

"Music is so powerful - that is what Tidal will be. A place for connection between artists and fans.

"The place to discover the music that will become the soundtrack for the rest of our lives."

Documents were signed at the event by each of the owners, with the audience screaming their appreciation as each walked to a table in the stage's centre.

So, will Tidal work? Personally, I'm not sure. The world has become too used to getting music for free at their fingertips with just a few clicks and taps on a keyboard. Tidal will likely be a relative success, but something to blast rival Spotify out of the water? I don't quite think so.

Tidal is available now, with a free trial offered at www.tidal.com

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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