Jay Z's ambitious entrance into the streaming music business, which came as a surprise to industry observers, debuted Monday (March 30) at an event at New York's James A. Farley Post Office in Herald Square with more than a few aces up its sleeves. About 16 of them, to be exact.
Tidal and WiMP, the two services under Swedish umbrella Aspiro, which he acquired earlier this month, will be the streaming home for artists like Shawn Carter himself, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, deadmau5, Jason Aldean, J. Cole and Madonna. (In case you didn't notice, the group features a golden god from each of the most-liked music genres.) The general public first got wind of the launch just after midnight EST when artists began changing their Twitter avatars cyan-blue in support of the #TIDALforall hashtag. Additionally, Sprint was announced as Tidal's first mobile carrier partner.
"People are not respecting the music, and devaluing what it really means," Jay Z told Billboard. "People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap and it's good water. But they're okay paying for it. It's just the mindset right now."