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WiMP brand to be phased out as Jay-Z takes control of Tidal

By | Published on Monday 23 March 2015


So, we can officially stop saying Tidal/WiMP to refer to the streaming service that began in the Nordics as WiMP but launched as Tidal in the US and the UK, where the brand WiMP seemed a little too, well, wimpish.

We can also bring to an end the frequently held CMU HQ debate over whether we should allow WiMP to have its lower case ‘i’. Though from this morning’s press announcement, Tidal seems to want to be known as TIDAL, which is only allowed under the CMU style guide if it stands for something. Maybe we’ll just go with TiDAL and be done with it.

Anyway, the WiMP brand is on its way out now that Aspiro, the company which operated both WiMP and Tidal, is in the hands of that Jay-Z fella (and given that Roc Nation was given as a press contact on this announcement, Team Zee are clearly already hands-on when it comes to their new streaming music toy).

The company said in a statement: “Marking the beginning of a new era of music and video experiences for consumers everywhere, Tidal is now the sole name for the service that was once divided between streaming services Tidal and WiMP”.

It went on: “The next step in the evolution of streaming, Tidal is a global entertainment streaming service and artist hub that delivers content the way the artists intend for fans to experience it: High-fidelity streaming music along with exclusive content, editorial, experiences and merchandise”.

So that’s all very exiting isn’t it? I do like an artist hub. Of course, in its original markets WiMP offered both standard and high quality audio streaming, at 9.99 and 19.99 price points respectively. To date Tidal has been exclusively HD at the higher subscription rate. It’s not clear what this means as the Tidal brand rolls out into WiMP territories.

Though perhaps more interesting than all the HD talk is the promise that Tidal will be “a single destination for artists and fans to share ideas, exclusive content, songs, videos, studio sessions, rough tracks, personal conversations and more”.

As the freemium debate rumbles on in the music community – and increasingly on the pages of the more mainstream business press – now that the newly freemium-wary Universal is negotiating its next licensing deal with Spotify, many reckon content exclusives are the solution.

That is to say, rather than killing the free level of Spotify – which many reckon would be counterproductive at this point – pile a load of exclusives into premium to make the 9.99 price point more attractive (and perhaps allow a 4.99 level that is ad-free and fully mobile, but without the exclusives). And as a sister company to Roc Nation with its own roster of artists, Tidal now has access to artist exclusives beyond anything the labels can provide.

So, interesting times to come perhaps as Tides By Jay goes live around the world.