If you haven't heard about Jay Z's newest entrepreneurial move then you my friend have been living under a rock for the last 48 hours.
Some of the biggest names in entertainment have re-launched the music subscription service Tidal, which they are billing as the first artist-owned platform for music and video -yes that is indeed correct, you are reading properly. Jay Z is on the move to create another notch on his empire.
This all went down as a signed and delivered package at an event in New York on Monday, Madonna, Beyonce, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna among 11 other artists announce that they have all become co-owners of Tidal. This is a very big move if you think about how powerful and influential this group of people are.
Launched October, and recently bought by Jay Z, Tidal is hoping to compete with the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Google Play. At present Tidal offers 25 million music tracks, fewer than the 30 million offered by many rival services.
As well as a standard subscription for $9.99 a month, Tidal offers a "high fidelity" option for $19.99, which is said to deliver better sound quality.
Singer Alicia Keys spoke on behalf of the artists as they all lined up on stage at Skylight at Moynihan Station in Manhattan.
Describing the event as a "graduation", she said the artists hoped Tidal would alter musical evolution.
"So we come together before you on this day, March 30th, 2015, with one voice in unity in the hopes that today will be another one of those moments in time, a moment that will forever change the course of music history."
Their mission, she said, goes beyond commerce and technology.
"Our intent is to preserve music's importance in our lives,'' she said.
With such a massive move, it marks a very symbolic evolution for music and how artists want to share their creations. The majority of the company will be owned by artists; Jay Z's strategy will include encouraging artists to lobby their labels to give Tidal new music a week in advance of other services, giving it a short window of exclusivity.
Jay commented- "We didn't like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow."
The artist/owners of Tidal, includes Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Jack White, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, they are planning to offer exclusive experiences to make choosing and paying for subscription worthwhile.
Am I swayed by this? Heck yea! I believe people should be treated fairly and paid for what they have created. Music sharing has seen a lot of artists lose out on money they have put into making an album and using their tours as the only real source of getting some form of ROI. Taylor Swift has even gone to the extent of pulling all her music off Spotify - and I don't see why not, it's hers.
Well done Jay Z and all parties involved!
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