Tidal bought by Jay Z to become Artist-owned streaming music service

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
#1
Tidal - the high-rez streaming service that was launched barely a few of months ago - was recently purchased by Jay Z and will be re-shaped as an artist-owned service - where musicians can actually make money from the music that they make.

Jay Z said in an interview, "We are treating these people that really care about the music with the utmost respect." May be finally audiophiles will get our place in the sun.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/b...for-tidal-a-streaming-music-service.html?_r=0

31jayz-web2-master675.jpg
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#2
what a great coup that was. I saw it on TV yesterday. If anyone could buy it he could as he and his wife have a net worth of over $1B
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
#3
I hope that this is good for our hobby if the popular artists will really respect the people who really care for the quality of the reproduction and the music. We, on the other hand, need to also respect the musician and pay them a fair price for their artistry and their craft.

The "music" industry, venture capitalists and finance industry are already fighting back......
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#4
One concern I would have is that Tidal is meant to also be a hirez streaming service, yet the linked article suggests the best level of quality will be "CD".
Instead, it will have two subscription tiers defined by audio quality: $10 a month for a compressed format (the standard on most digital outlets) and $20 for CD-quality streams.
Cheers
Orb
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#6
Where does Tidal claim to be hirez?
IIRC they were never hirez but rather streaming cd quality music not like Spotify or Pandora
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#8
Hey,
well no-one picked up on Gary saying hi-rez in the opening post or even how many news outlets titles say hires in association with Tidal :D
yes yes I should bother to read more, but it seems everyone (in the audio/music world) is jumping on the streaming/download/cloud service bandwagon these days.
Regarding the aspect on who makes the cash, well the details will be interesting but I bet the earnings per download is still not going to be amazing for artists, now those artists who are signed up owners possibly a different story...
So not sure how great this is for either artists in general or audiophiles, maybe I do not get it *shrug*.

Cheers
Orb
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#9
Ok I take a bit of this back but it depends upon the following (context relates to audiophiles) - thought there was something relating to hirez for Tidal.
Meridian MQA has been tested with support from Tidal, so in essence that is hirez music albeit transferred at CD quality rates.
If Tidal goes full in with the Meridian MQA solution this year that would be stunning for audiophiles; only downside/headache is utilising source files better than "CD", as Pono has found out this is not as easy as it seems for mainstream.

Cheers
Orb
 

rblnr

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 3, 2010
1,878
1
38
NYC/NJ
#10
They have mentioned the possibility of hirez in the future, but right now, it's CD quality as per other posts -- but this is a victory in itself. Hopefully with Jay-Z et al behind it, they'll put significant marketing behind the idea of higher quality streaming. Marketing on a large scale is the only way for quality streaming to get any mass traction.
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#11
I agree it is only CD quality right now and you notice I said "IF Tidal goes full in with Meridian MQA this year" but I cannot see how only CD quality is any benefit to audiophiles; majority streamers will not care about quality offered as they can get up to 320k lossy with other services, as an audiophile we ideally want hirez/studio master type source rather than CD; audiophiles will just buy hirez from download services rather than buy CD quality subscription.
In other words CD quality streaming is in no man's land when it is competing against other services for streaming or download.
Ah well truth in its interest will be later this year when it goes head-to-head with Dr Dres Beat Music-Apple service/Spotify and comparable services/etc.

Pal Bratelund from Tidal was interviewed at CES this year, talks about 24bit 96khz testing and more about MQA in following interview starting at 4m50sec.
Now what if this was going to happen but the buyout by Jay Z does not do this now, the result is the buyout is actually worse for audiophiles.
Lots of Ifs and speculation I appreciate, but it did look like Tidal was looking to implement MQA this year, albeit with the headaches I mentioned before that Pony experienced in business-politics-technicalities-logistics of getting hirez source content.
Jump to 4m 45sec where it starts about hirez.

Cheers
Orb
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#13
So am I Gary,
but there is a difference between mainstream listeners and audiophiles in the context of quality streaming.
Quality streaming rate is questionable until the back end processes-logistics are sorted out, in fact the easiest push towards quality in the streaming context would be to migrate listeners away from free lower lossy rates to 320k (which require monthly subscription); and that is not going well as there are 4x more signed up for the free lower rate with ads (only 15millionish pay the Spotify premium subscription compared to 50 to 60 million free lower rate listeners).

The niche area are audiophiles, where we want studio master type content and highest back end quality in terms of recording-mastering back end processes and highest source files/streaming and willing to pay for such services or "effort" involved due to multiple formats.
In summary I do not think this is what will drive mainstream to want better audio quality because they are not even embracing 320k subscription, however it can be lobbied and argued that the music can be record-mastered for best quality and for mainstream to embrace that.
And that is where we are seeing mainstream listeners being more vocal; the quality of the record-mastering and effect of loudness wars (when compared to streaming quality) and traction regarding improvements in the industry are being reported.

Regarding streaming.
The Meridian MQA would be ideal because it bridges the audiophile requirements with those of the average mainstream listener; a ubiquitous streaming quality that is transparent to the user supporting hires and those who do not care, albeit being perceptually based encoding.
And this is why I would say there is a lot of interest in the industry for the Meridian solution and why it was something Tidal was actively engaged in.

To stress this is just my opinion and does not necessarily relate to what will happen, this subject will split experts/analysts IMO.

Cheers
Orb
 

Audiocrack

Active Member
Aug 10, 2012
1,903
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#14
What's in a name: Tidal Audio, the Germany based company that is producing top notch high end speakers, amplifiers and (lately) dacs, has annouced a stratetic partnership with Tidal, the high fidelity music streaming service. This partnerhip will be launched at the next Munich High end show. I refer to the link below.

http://www.tidal-audio.de/english/news.htm
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#15
Out of interest how many subscribe to Tidal or Qobuz (which seems to offer nice hirez download service as well) and your thoughts on use/habits in comparison to listening to their own CD/hirez collection?

For me, I would use streaming to identify music I wish to buy that has been reviewed/recommended.
How many would sign on to a subscription (with costs) if streaming was above CD quality or is CD quality enough?
I could see myself subscribing if it offered greater than CD quality, but then the challenge for them is monetizing in a way that is acceptable to them-labels-and consumers (especially regions in terms of annoying locking and critically costs being 1:1 meaning one region gets a reasonable price while the rest pay too much).

Cheers
Orb
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#16
Ooh I should add Deezer to that list as well (looks like they will be adding or has but not sure how extensive "hirez" service - actually seems to be CD quality like Tidal).
Cheers
Orb
 
Last edited:

still-one

Member Sponsor
Aug 6, 2012
1,363
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36
Milford, Michigan
#18
I have been very pleased with the SQ of Tidal when compared to services I have used in the past. (MOG, Spotify & Rhapsody) One issue is that some artists I had tagged for Sooloss on Rhapsody are missing from Tidal's catalog. I hope the current owners don't screw up a good thing.
 

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