March 30, 2015


TIDAL, Jay Z's Anti-Spotify, Gets Love from Madonna, Rihanna, Everyone

Update (3/31): Peep the starry promo video for Tidal above. It's...REALLY starry (and realllly over-serious):

Original Story (3/30): News has been bubbling lately about Jay Z's involvement with Tidal, the latest would-be Spotify-killer. (And it was born in Sweden, just like Daniel Ek's miracle service.) This morning isn't just bubbles, though—it's a tsunami, one that's got BeyoncéJack WhiteKanye WestNicki MinajRihannaMadonnaColdplayArcade Fire and more surfing on the tip. Check out the video above to see music royalty gathering together—everyone's so serious! Daft Punk wear their robot suits to meetings!—to prepare for the "WAVE" of the future. (And if you need to see it in luscious YouTube fullscreen, head here.)

On Twitter and Facebook this morning, each of those artists changed his/her/their avatar/background bright blue, along with cryptic, motivational messages. Kick it off with that modified Dylan quote, Mr. "Bob Dylan of Rap Music" Hov:

"Tidal offers lossless CD-quality audio and video," Pitchfork reports. "There will be no free, ad-supported plan; monthly subscriptions cost $19.95. The service has deals with all of the major record labels. It also offers expert-curated playlists and editorial." There is a $10/month plan for "standard quality audio" as well. 

It's an especially big deal for Rihanna, Swift, Coldplay and Bey to offer their catalogues on Tidal, having all held out on Spotify at various times. Swizzy pulling her entire discography from the service at the time of her 1989 release was the biggest recent power play.

Jay Z's doing a press event on Monday at 5 P.M., so check back to see what else we learn about Tidal. Meanwhile: you can start a free trial at the website. We'll be trying it out and getting back to you with all our thoughts and analysis soon.