The way we listen to music has continued to evolve with the rising popularity of music streaming platforms. These services offer an alternative for fans who don't want to purchase an entire album, or worse, illegally download songs for free. And now, Jay Z's music streaming service, Tidal, is going old school by offering subscribers the ability to purchase physical copies of CDs directly from the site.
And who better to kick off this new feature then Tidal supporter Prince? Prince has made headlines in the past over his opinions surrounding both record labels and music streaming platforms, most notably, his decision to pull his music catalogue from most services besides a select few, such as Tidal.
In support of Jay Z for spending $100 million of his personal bankroll to build the service, Prince released his latest album called HITNRUN Phase One exclusively on Tidal on September 7.
Along with dropping his album on the streaming service, Prince is also selling the physical copy and digital downloads of his tracks as well. Those who want to support the artist who supports the fair compensation of all artists can buy the physical copy of the HITNRUN Phase One CD for $21.59 plus $3.99 shipping. Fans can also download the album for $9.99 in MP3 quality, or for $17.99 in HiFi quality. Those who just want to buy a single track can do so for $1.21 in MP3 quality or $2.98 in HiFi quality (FLAC).
Tidal has been billed as the platform owned by artists, with owner Jay Z emphasizing that musicians should be fairly compensated for their work. It costs subscribers the industry standard (for a premium subscription) $9.99 a month for its standard quality audio tier and $19.99 a month for its high-fidelity 16-bit FLAC tier.
It's not clear if Tidal will become something of an iTunes Store, selling digital downloads of tracks and albums, as well as setting itself apart by offering physical copies of the CDs — or if this is just a special one-time promotion for Prince.
Prince is known for famously saying "the Internet's completely over" back in 2010, but maybe Tidal could be the platform to help bring back sales earned by fans who still want to purchase old-school CDs.