By Ashahed M. Muhammad
Jay-Z rarely uses social media so when he used his Twitter account to communicate with his 3.1 million followers, people kind of knew something was brewing.
It was seen as a major move when the Hip Hop artist turned mogul stood on stage March 30 with music industry heavyweights to announce the formation of the majority artist-owned global streaming music service Tidal.
“This is the beginning of a whole new era,” said Alicia Keys, the Grammy Award-winning artist, who is also one of Tidal’s co-owners. Each of Tidal’s 16 superstar co-owners reportedly received 3 percent of the company as a gift from Jay Z, according to Billboard Magazine.
In mid-March, it was announced that Jay Z through Project Panther Bidco, Ltd. which is controlled by S. Carter Enterprises, LLC, acquired the Norwegian music streaming company Aspiro for a reported $56.2 million. Although his efforts were initially opposed and for a time delayed by some of Aspiro’s shareholders, the huge fanfare announcing the rebranding of the company as Tidal appears to have been very successful and surely in his view, worth the wait. Since news broke, the subject has dominated all music and entertainment news magazines and websites.
According to company representatives, Tidal is “the first high fidelity, lossless music streaming service.” Boasting of 25 million available HiFi tracks and 75,000 HD music videos, the service also promises to provide expert commentary contributed by industry leaders and journalists. It is available across iOS and Android devices, as well as all internet web browsers.
Roc Nation Chief Investment Officer and Tidal Senior Executive Vania Schlogel in her remarks indicated Tidal is a partnership with Sprint, but was light on details. An April 2 statement from Sprint clarified things a bit, but not much.