Tidal relaunches with Jay Z at the helm

Look out Spotify, a new wave of music streaming is here

Tidal announced that it was coming to more countries, but that was before a USD$56m (S$77m) takeover by rap mogul Jay Z.

With the recent relaunch, it seems he's looking to turn the music industry on its head by sharing ownership of Tidal with some of the biggest names in music, including Rihanna, Coldplay, Madonna, and of course, Beyonce. 

No royalties for music's royalty

The service's main USP was always that it could stream lossless Hi-Res Audio on its RM29.80 premium subscription, but the relaunch also saw the debut of a new RM14.90 service that only gets you standard resolution streaming. However, the main focus of the day is undoubtedly the service's revolutionary business model. 

Now, the artistes themselves will own the service, ensuring they have a direct stake. And possibly a larger share of the pie, with double the standard royalty rate being paid to them for every stream on Tidal's premium platform. How's Jay Z planning to attract them? By offering them millions of dollars in return for becoming part owners. Sounds like a win-win for the artistes to us.

The entire premise is built around the belief that streaming services such as Spotify pays artistes too little royalties to stream their music, especially with ad-driven free subscriptions being so prevalent. 

Will this work out in the long run? It's obvious many top artistes believe in it, given how the likes of Kanye West and Nicki Minaj have lent their name to the #TIDALforALL movement on social media, so the outlook seems positive.

Also, even Taylor Swift's music is on Tidal, so take that, Spotify.