Photo courtesy of Radio Survivor
On March 30, 2015 at 5 p.m. EDT, to much fanfare and anticipation, the music streaming service Tidal was launched – or rather, relaunched. Mogul and rapper Jay Z has spearheaded the initiative, and the amount of star power packed into his press conference was impressive, but what does the revamped Tidal service mean for the music industry, and more importantly, for the consumer?
TIDAL: A Brief History
Scandinavian tech company Aspiro, which was founded in 1998, launched TIDAL in 2014, a complement to their other streaming service WiMP, which was launched in 2010. Throughout Aspiro’s history, the company has acquired various smaller tech startups, numbering at least 13 in total between 2000 and 2008. As of January 30 of this year, Aspiro announced a $56 million takeover bid from Project Panther Bidco, Ltd. Project Panther is indirectly owned and controlled by Shawn Carter, aka, Jay Z. While some shareholders objected to the takeover, claiming it undervalued the growth potential of Aspiro, the bid was accepted on March 13, 2015, with over 90% of shareholders in favor of the acquisition.
TIDAL itself is a relatively young streaming service. What differentiates it from other similar streaming services is that it boasts lossless audio streaming and HD video (currently available only to TIDAL HiFi subscribers), with over 25 million tracks and 75,000 music videos at its disposal at this point in time, with plans to increase the media library. Unlike many other competitors, however, TIDAL is a subscription-only service. Their base-plan, TIDAL Premium, will cost you $9.99 per month, with an option to upgrade to the more high-definition TIDAL HiFi for $19.99 monthly.
Earlier this summer Jay Z had a successful tour with Justin Timberlake, following the latter's release of The 20/20 Experience. Now Hova is heading back out for his solo Magna Carter World Tour, supporting the album he released in July, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Jay Z will be in Europe in October, but the tour picks back up in North America starting at the end of November. The leg begins on November 30 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN, and ends on January 31 at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, PA. See below for U.S. tour dates, and visit the Jay Z page for more information on tickets.
This week, Jay-Z released a (fantastic) new album (that you should definitely check out), NASA remained wonderful, and ESPN gave us another heartwarming story.
Magna Carta Holy Grail
Although Jay-Z's new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," was available last week for Samsung users, it was officially released on Tuesday and immediately became his 12th platinum album. He collaborated with artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce (of course), and Frank Ocean, and producers like Timbaland and 16-year-old girl Ebony Oshunrinde aka Wondagurl. There's been plenty of hype surrounding the album, especially because RIAA changed one of its rules in order to certify "Magna Carta Holy Grail" platinum even before it was released to the public. Then, of course, Jay-Z took to Twitter to do an impromptu Q&A with his followers, where he addressed his favorite cereal growing up (Cap'n Crunch); ranked MCHG as his fourth best album (behind "Reasonable Doubt," "Blueprint," and "The Black Album"); shared his favorite track ("Oceans"); and ended most tweets with #factsonly and #mylaugh. It's been a pretty good week for Jay-Z.
July is a busy month not just for concerts, but sporting and theater events as well. Aside from summer fests, several artists launch their tours, including Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. For sports, MLB and WWE events are prolific. Meanwhile, for theater lovers, two shows will open on Broadway, including Let It Be, a Beatles musical. Here's what to look out for in July!
Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z: The highly-anticipated "Legends of the Summer" tour starts July 17 in Canada, then heads to the Bronx, Chicago, and San Francisco.
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Fun.: Following their second album, Some Nights, Fun. heads on tour with Tegan & Sara starting July 6. They'll stop at the Bunbury Musical Festival July 12.
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Jonas Brothers: JoBros return with a brand new tour beginning July 10 in Chicago, IL. The trio will make stops in Boston, MA, Atlantic City, NJ, and Charlotte, NC, before it wraps in mid-August.
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Summer starts Friday, and one of my favorite parts of the season (aside from beaches and warm weather) is the album and concert boom. Lots of artists go on tour over the summer, and to prep for those tours, they usually release a new album. Hot off the heels of Kanye's "Yeezus" (which came out yesterday!), here are seven albums to get hyped for, as well as the artist's latest single and tour info.
The album: Magna Carter Holy Grail
Release date: July 4
Why it could be good: His album title promises something great, and Jay-Z tends to deliver. Although there hasn't been an official single, info about the album has leaked, and the producer list is a great one: Jahlil Beats, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Rick Rubin, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, The-Dream, J. Cole, and Just Blaze are among them.
The tour: Find tickets to Jay-Z with Justin Timberlake on the Legends Of The Summer tour.