What You Need To Know About Tidal, Jay-Z’s New Music Streaming Service

The main perk to being Shawn Carter, besides getting to see Beyonce naked on the daily, is that no matter the price tag, whatever you want is easily within reach. Earlier this month, S. Carter Enterprises shelled out $56 million to Swedish company Aspiro, the creators behind two high-fidelity music streaming services, WiMP, and Tidal, and today, the later of those two services is getting re-launched in a matter of hours.

If you’ve been on Twitter today, or for that matter, the Internet in general, you’ve noticed that many renowned artists, most of whom count Jay-Z as either a boss or friend, have tweeted some variation of the phrase, “Together, we can turn the tide and make music history,” and changed their profile picture to a bright shade of turquoise. Kanye West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Arcade Fire, Usher, Madonna, and of course, Beyonce have all participated in the #TIDALforALL movement thus far, but what exactly is Tidal, and why should we care?

Billed as “the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos, and expertly Crated Editorial,” Tidal is a service that caters to “people who really appreciate the quality things in life,” according to CEO Andy Chen. The service already has deals with all the major record labels (which will likely only increase now that Jay’s at the helm),  75,000 HD music videos, and a library of 25 million songs, which notably includes the entire Taylor Swift catalogue.

The catch? Tidal offers no free tier subscription to the music service. If you want the goods, you have to shell out $19.99 a month. While it’s certainly easy to budget spending $20 on music a month, the success of the streaming service is likely going to depend more on how much exclusive content Jay-Z is able to provide than counting on the public to care about audio quality.

Tidal’s website broadcasts a countdown to the start time of a NY launch event for the streaming service, at which point Mr. Sean Carter will be making a special announcement.

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What surprises, if any, will Jay Z regale us with in 6 hours time? It could be anything from, “Hey, y’all can sign up now,” to “Everything me and my wife have ever recorded will no longer be available anywhere else,” to “Me and my wife and Kanye all are dropping albums today, available only on Tidal.” You never know.  The only thing we do know for sure is that we’re all gonna have to wait for Rihanna’s album.

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