The country singer joined Jay Z and more than a dozen other A-list musicians at a news conference to unveil the new service.
On March 30, Jason Aldean joined Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Alicia Keys, members of Arcade Fire and more at a news conference to unveil Jay Z’s new streaming service called Tidal.
This 32-second promo of the news conference shows top artists from all genres gathering together for the high-profile conference.
Jay Z recently purchased Tidal for $56 million, and the artists will own the majority of the company. The service is already available in 31 countries and has millions of high-definition songs and videos in its inventory. It will be a direct competitor of Spotify, which Aldean pulled all of his music from last year.
Prior to the news conference, Tidal’s artist/owners promoted it on various social media outlets, using #TIDALforALL.
Together we can make music history. Start by turning your profile pics blue. #TIDALforALL
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) March 30, 2015
The announcement created some excitement among fans, but music industry and technology insiders are skeptical about its impact on the marketplace.
Tidal is up against a solid line up of competitors in the streaming music space, including Apple, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Google, and Pandora. Like all of these services, Tidal will pay a small royalty every time a user plays a song.
Jay Z believes piracy can be eliminated if artists just band together. “Everyone knows that the pay system is unfair to artists,” Jay Z said, according to the New York Times. “Everywhere else, everyone gets compensated for their work. Music is everywhere — you consume it every day, everywhere you go. The content creator should be compensated. It’s only fair.”
Tidal will initially offer two subscription levels: $10 a month for a compressed format, which is the standard digital format and $20 for CD-quality streams.
Are fans going to pay, at minimum, $10 a month for the service? Time will tell. Most successful tech companies attract users with a free service and then monetize it. Spotify is successful because it is willing to lose money by offering a free subscription. It then converts these users to paid subscribers. Out of its 60 million worldwide users, 15 million pay for the premium service. Spotify collects additional revenue from selling ad space on the free service.
Jay Z wants fans to pay. Period. Tidal might be dead before it even launches. We’re interested to see how it will fare.