Jay Z wants you to know that Tidal, the Scandinavian high-fidelity streaming service that he bought earlier this month, is a big deal. So he didn’t just get some of music’s biggest stars to tweet about the service’s big relaunch, which is happening today. He got them all to change their social media avatars (on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, in addition to Twitter) to a violent light-blue square and ask their fans for “support,” as if this was a protest movement or something. That’s pretty gross, Jay!
Tidal is relaunching in the U.S. around 5PM eastern today, according to a countdown clock on the streaming service’s site. The service doesn’t have a free option like Spotify; it’s going for $19.99 a month for lossless hi-fidelity streaming quality, or $9.99 for standard audio quality. The service has deals with every major label, and it’s promising curated playlists and editorial content, as well. Right now, it has every Taylor Swift album streaming, whereas Swift pulled all her music from Spotify last year. And Jay is making a “special announcement” at a launch event in NYC this afternoon. It seems entirely possible that Jay’s Roc Nation management clients Kanye West and/or Rihanna could surprise-release their new albums as Tidal exclusives.
In the meantime, Jay got Twitter and Facebook support from a parade of luminaries that includes West, Rihanna, Madonna, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Diddy, Coldplay, Jack White’s Third Man Records, Calvin Harris, Usher, and Nicki Minaj. Observe:
"The Tides They Are-A Changing" #TIDALforALL
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) March 30, 2015
Together, we can turn the tide and make music history. Start by turning your profile picture blue. #TIDALforALL
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 30, 2015
Together we can make music history. Show support and make your profile photo blue. Turn the tide. #TIDALforALL
— Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) March 30, 2015
— Third Man Records (@thirdmanrecords) March 30, 2015
— Rihanna (@rihanna) March 30, 2015
— Coldplay (@coldplay) March 30, 2015
Change your avi in support of what is fair, of what is the future. The tides have changed, Barbz.… https://t.co/UqGLHerO37
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) March 30, 2015
UPDATE: Tidal also got tons of celebrities to appear in this promo video.
UPDATE 2: Here are details from the launch event.