Jay-Z has announced the re-launch of the recently acquired Tidal streaming service focusing on high definition audio and looking to deliver a better deal to artists.
Tidal streams audio at loss-less CD quality 44.1kHz / 16bit (1411kbps)(High Fidelity 1980s style!) and offers over 25 million tracks including the Taylor Swift back catalogue.
The service is available priced at $19.99 for high fidelity or $9.99 for standard quality and does not have adverts.
Tidal is available for iOS and Android as well as having web players for Windows and OSX.
TIDAL is now live in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, South Africa, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Singapore, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, France, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Turkey, Sweden, Romania, Slovenia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Australia, Hong Kong, and Germany.
The tidal relaunch comes on the back of declining CDs and the strain in relationship between Spotfiy and many of the major labels who are struggling to replace the lost revenue from CD sales. While Spotfiy remains the largest streaming service its does thanks to the large number on free users who are not producing enough revenue for Spotfiy.
It will be interesting to see how Tidal holds out against the upcoming YouTube audio service and more importantly the Beats audio service, after Apple have fully developed Beats Audio. Personally I (SH) think that Apple will still win this as they already have access to the premium customers and a trail promotion alongside new devices will be tough to complete with.
Also while exclusivity deals with artists is an attractive way of gaining new customers I (SH) wonder if it is the model to build a longer term business upon. Very few artist have the kind of following that sees customers continuing to pay for a service purely to listen to that act and you suspect that those fans are the ones still buying physical media formats anyway.