The online radio business is becoming even more crowded, with Monday’s announcement that hip-hop business mogul Jay-Z is launching Tidal, his own streaming audio service.
The new subscription music service will face off with an array of free and paid subscription rivals, including Spotify, Beats Music and iTunes Radio.
The launch of Tidal was announced in New York City with support from a glittering constellation of music stars who appeared on stage with Jay-Z at the event, including his wife Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Daft Punk and Jack White.
A coordinated social media campaign by these stars and other music artists, like Coldplay, promoted the service by turning their profile pictures the Tidal brand’s shade of light blue.
According to the company, the new service will offer access to over 25 million different audio tracks with high-fidelity sound optimized for 16-bit delivery. The service, which also includes music videos, costs $19.99 per month.
By comparison, Spotify and Beats by Dre both offering premium subscriptions costing $9.99 per month.
Tidal is based on the streaming audio platform of the same name created by Aspiro, which Jay-Z acquired for $56 million last month. Ever since the acquisition, rumors of a new music service have swirled, fueled by reports of a meeting involving many of the above-named celebrities.
The plans to relaunch Tidal under Jay-Z’s aegis were officially revealed last week.
As noted, the launch of Tidal puts Jay-Z in competition with, among others, fellow hip-hop business impresario Dr. Dre, who sold his premium digital headset business, Beats Electronics, and associated subscription streaming music platform Beats Music to Apple for $3 billion in May 2014. The hip-hop star remained with his company and joined Apple as part of the deal.