Can Tidal Compete With Existing Music Streaming Services?
With music streaming services becoming increasingly popular, the balance between keeping artists happy and attracting customers with an extensive library and low costs has become a key barrier to entry for newcomers.
Companies like Spotify and Pandora Media Inc (NYSE: P) have taken the lead with millions of users, but high profile disputes with artists who say that streaming services don't pay enough threaten to significantly reduce their libraries.
Enter Tidal, the artist-backed streaming service that relaunched on Monday as an alternative to current streaming platforms. The site is owned by Jay-Z and has garnered support from a host of music heavyweights like Madonna, Rihanna and Kanye West.
Tidal has marketed itself as the "first ever artist-owned music and entertainment platform" which has led to speculation about how it will set itself apart.
Its approval among music artists means it will likely boast an extensive library of songs, and some are expecting that the service will offer exclusive tracks that artists will only make available on Tidal. There are also rumors that the company has inked a deal with mobile carrier Sprint Corp (NYSE: S).
In any case, the company is up against some stiff competition.
Not only will Tidal have to compete with Spotify, which boasts 40 million users world wide, but the company will go head to head against Dr. Dre's Beats subscription service, which was recently purchased by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Beats' user base was significantly smaller than that of Spotify, but Apple is planning to change all of that by revamping the offering and relaunching it later this year.
Beats' star-studded marketing campaign made the company's headphones an instant hit among music lovers and fashionistas alike, so Beats' brand awareness is likely to give its streaming service a leg up against newcomers like Tidal.
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