It’s looks like the United Nations of Music. Beyonce, Kanye, Jack White, Chris Martin, Madonna, Daft Punk, Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Nicki Minaj and more come in and sit down in what appears to be the secret society of entertainers who really run the world (like, say The Pentaverate).
Is it an intimate web series/awards show we’re just hearing about? A new Beats commercial? A bullying PSA? Nope, this assembly of music’s almighty is a teaser for the launch of Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal. Starting very early on March 30th, artists were tweeting out cryptic messages, with a tone more familiar around actual causes like bullying or cancer awareness, asking followers to turn their avatars blue–the new brand’s signature color–and endeavor to change music history.
Jay Z’s purchase of the service for $54 million was approved by former owner Aspiro shareholders earlier this month. According to Aspiro statements, as of January, Tidal had 17,000 paid subscribers. Originally pegged as a “luxury” streaming service, hours before launch the company tweeted out its plans to cut its pricing in half, from $19.99 to $9.99. Which may actually go further in recruiting new customers than a celebrity-packed spot ever could.
The spot foretold what actually happened at an unusual launch event this afternoon. A who’s who of artists including Kanye, Beyoncé, Win Butler from Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Jack White, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Rihanna, Usher, and Alicia Keys, signed a “declaration” and it was announced that they are all co-owners of the service. In a video on the Tidal site, the artists talked about the service as an artist-first, not a technology-first platform. It is also reported that Tidal is offering those artists a more attractive set of terms than other streaming services.