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If you don’t know this color, you probably don’t follow major artists on Twitter or Instagram.

 

On Sunday night, suddenly every big musician had their profile picture this color with the hashtag, #TidalForAll. Whatever that means. Well we soon learned on Monday just what it all meant.

Jay-Z launched his own High Fidelity Music Streaming service. I had to do a bit of research on what “high fidelity” meant, and found that it is the reproduction of sound with little distortion, giving a result very similar to the original. So basically, high quality music streaming; cool, isn’t that what Spotify is for? Okay, so Spotify may not be the highest quality but it’s there and it’s free (unless you can afford that premium account, good for you). Tidal on the other hand is not free; the monthly cost in the US is $9.99 for Tidal Premium and $19.99 for Tidal Hifi. Once again, you have to think quality over…cost?

As a procrastinating senior, I decided to “take a quick study break” and watch this mock press conference that is available to anyone on tidal.com. Basically, it was just to say that artists have been behind this, there is an offline feature, and that they were reestablishing the music scene. It is meant to offer exclusive content from artists and bring fans closer to their favorites. All artists who partook in the Tidal For All Campaign are not only streaming their music with the service but are also owners. That makes it the first EVER artist owner streaming music service. According to Alicia Keys, money doesn’t play a role in this. Yeah okay, but it is nice to see artists taking their power and attempting to change the music world. The artists who are taking part in the Tidal project are Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne from Arcade fire, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Beyonce, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk, Jack White, J. Cole, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, Deadmaus, Madonna, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher. Talk about some big names and they even signed a whole declaration. Talk about fancy. So yeah, I just saved you a good 20 minutes.

Overall, Tidal is just another streaming service. High quality music is clearly amazing but it won’t make a difference if people are simply listening with their $10 headphones. To say this will change the music industry forever seems a bit much. It is important that artists are taking how their music is presented in their own hands, but really the concept has been around for some time. Tidal has a lot to live up to, with only 35,000 paying users compared to Spotify with 15 million paying users.

 

The people of the Internet are not happy about this either. They are mad that artists are just making us pay for music in another way; saying it is just more money for the already well-off millionaires that now own the company. Fair play, Internet. But others made light of it reminding people that Netflix is only $8 or simply stating that exclusive content from these big name artists is what could really push Tidal over the edge for streaming royality.

In the end, I do have some questions: Will these co-owners of Tidal all be pulling their music from Spotify? Is it really worth $20 for exclusive content? How long until this hype dies down and we all go back to illegally downloading music that sounds like it was double the speed? Tidal sounds like an exciting project but in reality it is nothing new and it is only benefiting the 17 artists that signed the declaration. Whether you think this is a game changer or not, it certainly shows artists are taking a stand in higher quality music.

Either way, I’m glad this launch happened because I didn’t know I needed this picture until I saw it.

 

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3

I have been a proud Her Campus writer since my freshman year at Pitt and I am now the Social Media Editor for the chapter. So excited to see where the chapter will go but sadly I am a senior graduating in 2015 with a Communication and Art History major and Film Studies minor.
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