Jay Z is holding a press conference today to officially announce the relaunch of his newly acquired music streaming site Tidal, and there are some interesting theories about what he’s actually going to say.
The press conference is going to take place at 10 p.m. GMT (5 p.m. ET) at the James A. Farley Post Office in New York. It’s going to be a short conference, as it’s currently scheduled to last only 17 minutes.
Here’s an embedded link to watch the press conference as it happens (right now it’s showing basketball replays):
Jay Z is probably going to talk about other musicians who will be having an input into the site. On midnight Monday, some of the biggest names in music turned their social media profiles light blue in anticipation of the launch of Tidal. That’s a big show of support.
This is the list of every musician currently promoting the Tidal launch on social media:
- Jay Z
- Kanye West
- Daft Punk (through their Facebook page)
- Nicki Minaj
- Jaden Smith
- Jack White (through the Twitter account of his record label Third Man Records)
- Alicia Keys
Some artists are tweeting about the upcoming relaunch.
So what’s in it for the musicians? Jay Z reportedly held a meeting before the Grammy Awards in February where he talked to many of the musicians listed above about his plans for his music streaming site. That may have persuaded many musicians to choose Tidal as their preferred streaming site.
TechCrunch reports today, citing an article published in Breakit, that musicians are going to make their albums available first on Tidal before bringing them to Spotify and other streaming services after a period of time. That would make Tidal the go-to place for fans of artists like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Kanye West, as their music would be available to stream only on Tidal before reaching sites like Spotify several months later.
There’s another big incentive for stars considering bringing their music to Tidal: Money. TechCrunch says that Tidal has been offering to pay artists as much as double the payouts offered by Spotify for every play of their songs. Tidal charges a far higher price than other streaming sites, costing as much as $US20 a month for its high-resolution music. That money could be going toward persuading artists to sign up through generous deals.
We reached out to Spotify for comment on Tidal’s rumoured plans to poach musicians from its platform. Here’s what it said:
We want all the world’s music on our service, but there has been sporadic windowing on Spotify since it was created. We know from experience that these things happen, they come and go, and we continue to grow exponentially by delivering a great product for our users and the artists they love. Recent releases by Drake, Kendrick, Madonna and others – including the Empire cast album, which hit number one because of streaming – show how critical it is for artists and labels to be on Spotify for their own success, and we’re proud to be part of that.
Jay Z could also announce playlists and editorial content from other stars like his wife Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj. Tidal’s CEO Andy Chen told us earlier this month that curated playlists are a big draw for Tidal’s customers.
But there’s also speculation that Jay Z could unveil a new album or mixtape, which would be available exclusively on his streaming site. It’s also possible that Jay Z’s friend Kanye West could release new music on Tidal, and the BBC is reporting that there has been speculation that a Rihanna album could be unveiled too.