If you’re wondering who Jay-Z is, don’t worry – he’s an American rapper that is typically listened to by the sort of people that walk around with their pants halfway down the legs. He is, however, married to Beyonce, so he obviously has some pretty good taste. He also is apparently worth around $520 million, so he must be doing something right…
The well known musician (real name Shawn Carter) and a bunch of pals just launched a new music streaming service called Tidal – a company that was recently taken over by the rapper to take on companies like Spotify and Rdio.
Tidal offers higher-quality music than other services
At a press conference this week Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West and even Madonna all appeared onstage to celebrate the launch of the new service, which it says offers higher quality audio than other services. Carter reportedly paid $56 million to buy the Tidal from parent company Aspiro.
The company’s other owners are the artists who joined Jay-Z onstage on Monday, according to an article in the New York Times. Carter gave them all small stakes in the service in return for participation in the promotion.
Officially though, it’s a relaunch. Tidal already existed prior to Monday’s launch event. It was originally called WiMP in 2010, and was know either as WiMP or Tidal in various countries. And the app already has 25 million songs in its library, which is similar to competitors such as Spotify, Rdio, MOG and Google’s music service.
How much will Tidal cost?
Tidal costs $10 per month for streaming in AAC format (which is Advanced Audio Compression, a format superior to MP3 and commonly used by iTunes, for example) and $20 per month for streaming in the lossless (i.e. higher quality) FLAC format, a standard that doesn’t decrease the quality of the song (though takes up much more storage space). You can switch between the two formats if, for example, you’re streaming over a mobile connection and want to save data.
We have not confirmed yet however if the app can be used in Thailand, as in many cases, music is restricted from streaming to various countries due to licensing issues.
Furthermore, there will not be a free tier – unlike Spotify and Pandora, which offer free music supported by ads that interrupt the service. Apart from the high quality streaming (which many people won’t actually be able to distinguish from AAC, especially listening on smartphone headphones), Tidal will offer exclusive content from the artists involved, as well as special events for paying members.
The Tidal player is a website and is also available as an iOS (Apple) and Android app. There is no desktop player available, and it’s not possible to upload music to the service. It will also work with wireless speakers, such as the incredibly popular Sonos range. Thankfully, you will be able to save songs to listen offline without an Internet connection.
Are you tempted by Jay-Z and his Tidal service? Let us know in the comments below.