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Tidal (stylize as TIDAL) is a subscription-based music streaming service that combines lossless audio and high definition music videos with curated editorial. The service has over 25 million tracks and 85,000 music videos.Tidal claims to pay the highest percentage of royalties to music artists and songwriters within the music streaming market. Tidal offers two digital music streaming services: Tidal Premium (lossy quality) and Tidal HiFi (lossless CD quality – FLAC-based 16-Bit/44.1 kHz). Tidal was launched in 2014 by Norwegian/Swedish public company Aspiro. It has distribution agreements with all of the three major labels, in addition to many indies. In the first quarter of 2015, the parent company Aspiro was acquired by Project Panther Ltd., which was dissolved on August 2, 2016 which was owned by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.
Following the acquisition of Aspiro by Jay Z in March 2015, a mass-marketing campaign was introduced to relaunch Tidal. Multiple music artists changed their social media profiles design blue, and posted the phrase “#TIDALforAll” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A press conference took place on March 30, 2015, introducing sixteen music artists to the stage, including Jay Z, who were all co-owners and stakeholders in Tidal.The service was promoted as being the first artist-owned streaming service. Each artist publicly signed a declaration, which opened with: “Throughout history, every movement began with a few individuals banding together with a shared vision – a vision to change the status quo.”
The relaunch of Tidal with the new artist-owned model were mostly panned by publications and fellow musicians alike. Some praised the impressive high fidelity, lossless audio quality, and the higher subscription fees which would result in higher royalties to the artists and songwriters, whilst others felt the high subscription fees and exclusive Tidal content from the artists involved could result in an increase of music piracy. As of March 2015, the service itself claims to have over 580,000 paying users after being integrated with its sister service, WiMP, as well as 17,000 using the high fidelity service. Tidal currently operates in 31 countries. Sprint purchased 30% of Tidal on January 23rd, 2017 for a reported $200M.