Who else but Jay-Z could wrangle the likes of Madonna, Jack White, Daft Punk. Kanye West, Chris Martin, Nicki Minaj and more to help him promote a product? The all-star musical summit you see above serves as a quick yet somewhat tense precursor to Hova’s new Tidal music streaming service, which the hip-hop mogul announced this week and is aimed at taking on Beats and Spotify among others. Described by Alicia Keys herself as “a platform owned by artists” that’s intended to “reestablish the value of music,” the hi-fi Tidal service offers two paid subscription options: $19.99 a month for high-fidelity audio, and $9.99 for standard quality audio. It can be streamed on the web and downloaded on iOS and Android devices.
Speaking to Billboard about his ambitious endeavor, which is ultimately focused on properly compensating artists, Jay-Z says, “We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow and if, you know, the very least we did was make people wake up and try to improve the free vs. paid system, and promote fair trade, then it would be a win for us anyway.” He continues, “People are not respecting the music, and [are] devaluing it and devaluing what it really means,” Jay Z added. “People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap, and it’s good water. But they’re OK paying for it. It’s just the mind-set right now.”
As for the :30 Tidal promotion (we’re still trying to gather any sort of credits), the clip is already being met with controversy. Just a day after launching, Pitchfork reports that musician/producer The Haxan Cloak, who’s worked with the likes of Bjork, has accused Jay-Z and crew of ripping off two of his tracks for the spot. No word yet from Jay’s camp on the matter.