For avid travelers, good music can help make those annoying, long flights and dreaded half-day bus trips more of a breeze. Streaming music has become a go-to source for travelers and anyone on the go. For those of us who have been getting by with services like Spotify and Pandora for years, a new option is here as some of today’s biggest musical artists have joined forces in a campaign to revolutionize the music streaming industry by relaunching a new platform known as Tidal.
What’s the big deal about this compared to Spotify, Pandora or anything else you listen to? First and foremost, it is not free. There isn’t even a free option. Users pay a minimum of $10 a month for the basic service, and $20 per month for the high quality streaming option. Secondly, it’s not even that unique. Tidal literally does nothing that your music streaming service can’t do except offer a little more in terms of proprietary content from the artists, which may include articles or videos. Yikes.
Jay-Z purchased Tidal early in March and has now partnered with some of today’s biggest names (and, ironically, some of the richest artists), including Beyonce, Madonna and Coldplay. These artists are not only part of the Tidal streaming revolution but also have been made co-owners of the company. The 16 or so artists who have partnered with Jay-Z will be the first musicians to house their music on the streaming site. The message is clear from these artists – if you don’t pay for what you are listening to, you don’t respect the industry.
The Tidal re-launch even included a profile picture changing awareness campaign. Much like those you see for social equality or political purposes – except this one is designed to get fans on board with paying money to support the music they love. Now, when you see a blue (it’s really cyan) profile pic or avatar, you’ll know what it’s about.
Tidal could end up stealing users from Spotify if they land more exclusive content. Take Taylor Swift, for example, who pulled all of her albums from Spotify recently because she wasn’t getting enough money from the streaming service. All of her music is currently available on Tidal.
Tidal does have the potential to be something big, but in the current music landscape and this economy a lot is going to have to happen before people willingly give up their free subscriptions to Pandora and Spotify who house millions of songs from not only the biggest artists, but thousands of lesser known indie gems.
Can Tidal truly make waves in the music industry? Will you be using this service to create your travel or exercise playlist?