Jay Z announces $9.99 streaming version of Tidal to rival Spotify

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At an event in New York last, rapper and media mogul Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, announced an updated version of his recently acquired high quality audio service, Tidal. It was also announced that several other artists had become co-owners of the site, including fellow rapper Kanye West as well as Madonna, Beyonce, Alicia Keys and a dozen other performers.

Speaking on stage at Skylight at Moynihan Station in Manhattan on behalf of the artists, singer Alicia Keys described the event as a “graduation”. She said the artists hoped Tidal would alter musical evolution.

“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.”

“Their mission,” she said, “goes beyond commerce and technology.”

She continued: “Our intent is to preserve music’s importance in our lives.”

Launched in Norway last October, Tidal was recently bought by rapper Jay- Z as part of a $56m deal. As well as offering a “high definition” audio service for $19.99, which claims to deliver better sound quality, Tidal will launch a standard definition subscription for $9.99 a month. By the end of 2014, Tidal had 500,000 paying users.

As part of the campaign to promote the new Tidal service, several artists, including Rihanna, Usher, Kanye West, Coldplay and the rapper’s wife Beyonce, altered their social media accounts to match the teal blue colour of Tidal’s website.

Jay-Z’s official Twitter account posted: ‘The Tides They Are-A Changing’, while Kanye West’s added: “Together, we can turn the tide and make music history.”

Yesterday more details emerged of Apple’s plans to take on Spotify with a new subscription-only music streaming service as part of its acquisition of Beats Audio. See here for more information.

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Chris Price
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