Tidal, the nascent streaming service led by hip-hop mogul Jay Z
New York - AFP
Tidal, the nascent streaming service led by hip-hop mogul Jay Z, on Wednesday announced new features and a low promotional rate as competition intensifies.
Tidal said it was launching a desktop version as well as integration with concert giant Ticketmaster, which will offer ticket sales and special deals.
The service said it was also offering a promotional rate to students that goes down to $4.99 a month -- weeks after upstart rival Rdio undercut rivals with a $4 subscription.
Jay Z earlier this year bought Tidal from Sweden's Aspiro for $56 million and relaunched it on March 30 with fellow stars including his wife Beyonce and Madonna, who all are stakeholders.
The stars billed Tidal as a company that supports artists and geared the service toward audiophiles, with larger file sizes than industry leader Spotify.
But Tidal faces intense competition. Spotify last month announced an expansion into video and original content among other new features, while Paris-based Deezer -- which is strong in Europe but has little US imprint -- launched podcasts.
Apple -- long the titan of digital music through iTunes -- is expected shortly to announce a new streaming platform.
Tidal enjoyed a spike in popularity in May as it featured exclusives including two concerts by Jay Z.
But it has since slipped back. Tidal's app for iPhones was on Tuesday the 871th most downloaded in the United States, and only number 50 in the music category, according to tracking service App Annie.
Tidal's top-level service costs $19.99 a month, twice that of Spotify which -- unlike its rivals and despite opposition from some artists -- also has a free tier.