Jay Z’s TIDAL Music Service Looks to Compete Against Apple and More


As the music industry moves away from digital downloads and toward streaming, more players — Apple included — are stepping into the crowded market. Just in time and ahead of Apple’s launch of the revamped Music app that is set to include its $3 billion acquisition (Beats), Jay Z has relaunched TIDAL (via the Financial Times).

What sets TIDAL apart from its competition — Spotify, YouTube, and Apple — is the “musician-friendly” approach.

Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, took a veiled dig at Spotify and Apple, hailing TIDAL’s artist-first approach as “what sets us aside from a tech company selling advertising, or one selling hardware.”

For TIDAL to make money, it will emulate the success of Beats: “Make money on exit,” believes Mark Mulligan, a music analyst at MIDiA Consulting. Of course, all eyes are on Apple now, as the company has yet to make its bold move and show off the results of the $3 billion acquisition. The expectations are high: the music streaming service led by Jimmy Iovine could reshape the music industry once again. There are some things that need their attention, though, such as the concerns raised by European regulators.

As for TIDAL, music labels are said to be lining up alongside artists as shareholders. Both UMG and Warner Music Group have obtained a stake in the company, while Sony is still at the negotiation table.

TIDAL’s relaunch could reshape Apple’s plans, says the Financial Times, as the service has exclusive deals with top artists. The future of digital music is here, and everyone wants their share. TIDAL has made its bet; now let’s see what Apple has been up to lately.

TIDAL launched  in Canada on December 8, 2014 for a monthly subscription of $19.99.