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Coinciding perfectly with our free streaming debate is Jay Z’s relaunch of Tidal, a music streaming service that is rumored to pay its artists double what Spotify and other rivals pay. The service will officially relaunch later today, but currently subscriptions can be purchased for $10 or $20 and no free option is available.

The real appeal of this service is the artists recruited to join.  Beyonce, Madonna, Kanye West and even the elusive Taylor Swift are rumored to have joined this service, potentially even removing their work from Spotify in protest. Other rumors suggest that most artists will supply Tidal with their new releases, before giving them to Spotify and other streaming services. Jay-Z is hoping this exclusivity will bring in subscribers.

The concept of Tidal is a good one, but is it one worth paying for? We’ll see. With only 35,000 subscribers compared to the millions that Spotify boasts, Tidal is not even a competitor yet, but this could easily change over the next few days and weeks. Either way, it seems like an sign of where the music industry is headed. Artists are clearly fed up with their agreements from free streaming services and looking for alternatives. Tidal just may be the best new option.

For those that want to stay updated before the big launch this afternoon, #TIDALforALL is trending and those artists in support of the new service have turned their Twitter pictures blue. This campaign seemed to come out of the blue (no pun intended) overnight, and I’m sure the free streaming community will have plenty to say about it over the next few days.


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