#TIDALforALL: Will Jay Z’s New Streaming Service Affect Spotify?

Jay Z is planning to take over social media with the hashtag #TIDALforALL. You may have come across the sea of cyan blue avatars on social networking sites like Instagram and Twitter. That’s because Jay Z’s streaming service, TIDAL, has launched on Monday, March 30. Other artists like Arcade Fire, Beyonce, Coldplay, Kanye West, Madonna, and Rihanna also joined in on their efforts to market the new service, which is expected to dethrone Spotify as the top music streaming service.

Some of the celebrities have even used the hashtag #TIDALforALL to their followers. Jay Z even used a Bob Dylan reference: “The Tides They Are Changin,’” meaning that the music industry is changing as well. Tidal will become a fierce competitor for Spotify since it allegedly pays its musicians a good amount of revenue and it offers hi-res digital streaming. Audiophiles may want to abandon Spotify for this new music service.

Tidal isn’t totally new. According to Forbes, Jay Z bought the service as part of a $56 million deal from the Swedish company Aspiro. A press conference about the TIDAL streaming service is expected to happen in New York City at 5 p.m. today. Artists have previously expressed their concerns about the low revenue and pay rates on Spotify and other popular online streaming services. The new TIDAL business model means bigger payments for all artists, big or small.

Not everyone’s buying this new TIDAL service though. Some music lovers have been using the hashtag #TIDALforNOONE as a response to the hashtag #TIDALforALL. Some fans believe that the music service is actually serving a fictitious secret group called the Illuminati. Others have complained that they don’t want to pay $20 for TIDAL’s service when they can get a subscription to both Spotify and Pandora for under $15.00.

Not everyone is enjoying Tidal’s new service either. Forbes’ contributor Allen St. John reported that the “app kept crashing,” causing him to leave the service. Meanwhile, Oregon Live’s contributor David Greenwald couldn’t tell the difference in quality on “James Blake hi-res file for the muffled sound of an MP3 and frankly not hearing much of a difference on a Dixie Chicks track.” He noted that the service wasn’t worth paying for.

TIDAL has two options: Premium service for $9.99 month or Hi-Fi service for $19.99 per month. Both services include a free 30-day trial. Meanwhile, Spotify offers free online streaming service or $9.99 per month for premium service that includes hi-quality music and no ads. The premium service also includes a 30-day free trial.

It’ll be interesting to see the reports of user streaming on Tidal compared to Spotify. What are your thoughts on Jay Z’s new TIDAL service? Will you be checking it out?

[Image: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS]