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Jay Z ready to launch hi-fi music streaming service

The countdown is on for the big reveal of Jay Z's latest venture, Tidal, a music streaming service that he says will deliver high-quality music "the way it was intended to sound by the artists."

The rapper-cum-entrepreneur bought Tidal's parent company, Aspiro, for $56 million in January. Joining the ranks alongside Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Beats and Sony -- which just replaced its own Music Unlimited with Spotify on PlayStation -- Tidal differentiates itself as high fidelity streaming that gives listeners better quality, lossless sound that pays respect to the artists who made the music.

And some artists are showing their support. In the ramp up to Monday's 5 p.m. ET launch, artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyonce, Cold Play, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj showed their support for Tidal by changing their Twitter pictures to a turquoise box.


To see musicians backing a service like this is meaningful given that they tend to make very little off music streaming, despite its ascendance in the music sales market. Last year, Taylor Swift pulled her albums off Spotify, saying, "I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music."

Tidal boasts agreements with all the major labels and a library of more than 25 million tracks and 75,000 music videos. Plus, it's got Jay Z at the helm, which could mean valuable exclusives from his friends in the biz.

A subscription for hi-fi quality audio is $19.99 per month, and $9.99 a month for standard def.

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