If Jay-Z’s recently acquired hi-fi streaming service TIDAL wants to make a splash, Taylor Swift may be its cresting wave. As of this morning the pop star, who has essentially boycotted Spotify in a disagreement over artist compensation, brought most of her catalog (aside from 1989) to TIDAL.
Jay-Z, who recently purchased the parent company for Tidal and its European counterpart WiMP for $56.2 million, may have convinced the 25 year-old star to join TIDAL with higher royalty payouts. The service, which is one of the few of its kind that streams CD-quality lossless audio, currently costs $20 per month. Swift’s catalog is also available on Beats Music and Rhapsody — though, like Tidal, neither feature 1989.
However, the issue may be about more than simple dollars and cents. In a highly publicized Time interview last November, Swift took issue with Spotify’s ad-supported tier, explaining that she believes free access to streaming music negatively affects its overall value. “With Beats Music and Rhapsody you have to pay for a premium package in order to access my albums. And that places a perception of value on what I’ve created. On Spotify, they don’t have any settings, or any kind of qualifications for who gets what music,” she said.
The Swift news comes on the heels of a clandestine meeting that Jay-Z had with an all-star list of artists and music industry execs during Grammy week. According to Showbiz 411, Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin, Jack White, and (of course) Beyonce, among others, showed up to brainstorm turning TIDAL “into a streaming music and video service akin to the old United Artists pictures, in which artists would actually profit and put out quality material.”
Whether Jay-Z can accomplish that lofty goal, landing Swift’s music is definitely a win for TIDAL, which is in competition with Deezer in the premium music streaming category. The service has a TBA re-launch date and will be renamed TIDALHiFi. We’ll keep you updated.