Is Jay Z's New HD Streaming Service A Spotify Killer?

"Together, we can turn the tide and make music history," tweeted the always loquacious Kanye West this weekend, referring to his platonic life partner Jay Z's recent acquisition, Tidal, a streaming, Hi-Fi, expertly curated music source set to contend with Spotify, Pandora, and other big players in the streaming scene.

You may have seen your favorite artists tweet out #TIDALforALL, and turn their profiles robin's egg blue "in solidarity," but what does the artist-centric Tidal and its formidable backers offer that you can't already get for (basically) free with the plethora of other services out there, including the 10-million-paid-users-a-month behemoth Spotify?

Well, a lot, apparently. Even T. Swift.

On its site, Tidal touts itself as "the first music streaming service that combines the best high-fidelity sound quality, high-definition music videos, and expertly curated editorial." They're gunning for the growing list of listeners who consider themselves to be audiophiles—those who are opting to spend a little extra for a higher quality experience, whether it be on headphones, cables, MP3 players created by Canadian rock legends, and, as HOVA is betting, streaming services.

And "quality" doesn't just extend to the listening levels of the music, but also listening options, as Tidal is already setting itself up to be the preferred streaming platform for musicians, with artists like Kanye, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Beyonce (duh), and even Taylor Swift jumping on the bandwagon.

With artists becoming increasingly frustrated with the low returns current streaming services dole out, it's only logical that musicians begin formulating alternate plans to keep their music streaming...at a price. 

Tidal offers two separate plans: the basic streaming option for $9.99, and the Premium model at $19.99, chock-full of perks, including Lossless High Fidelity sound, HD music videos, and what they are referring to as "curated editorial." New users—so basically everyone—can start the sign-up process with a free 30-Day trail, today.

So, will Jay Z's new service break the music industry reign Spotify has so expertly taken hold of over the past few years? 

Time will tell. But with the lineup of megastars in its proverbial court, along with promises of expert quality, artist-exclusive content, and a fair shake for musicians looking to make some cash in a rapidly declining industry, Tidal seems to be the perfect streaming storm—one that could even shape the future of how we experience music.

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Supercompressor. He was trying out Tidal the entire time he was writing this, and he was impressed. Follow him @WilFulton.