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Daft Punk Make Rare Appearance For Tidal’s Awkward New York Launch Event

So what actually just happened at Tidal’s launch event? Well, a lot of artists – including Daft Punk – came on stage, Alicia keys then said the word “artist” a lot, they all then signed a declaration, that no one actually read out, and then they all walked off stage.

It was bizarre, weird and a bit underwhelming.

Tidal is the saviour of the music industry apparently – owned by Daft Punk, Madonna, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Arcade Fire, Chris Martin and a load of other artists – it’s a new “high fidelity” streaming service that launched in October.

At no point during the 17 minutes of awkwardness, did anyone mention why the service is better for artists, they just all stood their like gormless puppets.

We’ve been using it this afternoon, and while it’s an impressive service, you can’t help but feel it’s just a re-skin of what Spotify already offers, with less content, for twice the price, if you go for the premium version, and that’s it. Sure it might pay artist more money, but it’s never as simple as that, artists get paid quite often by their label and Tidal’s terms are unlikely to change that.

One of the main criticisms of the all streaming services is the lack of transparency – who get’s paid what and when – so you would have thought they’d take the time to explain why Tidal is different – but they didn’t.

According to Billboard, each of the 16 participating artists has been give 3% equity in the company, with the remaining stakes owned by Jay-Z and other investors.

Hopefully, we’ll get some more information on how it differs from the competition soon – but at the moment it’s all a bit wooly and came across like the pop equivalent of a Bilderberg meeting.

The service currently comes in two subscription models – $19.99 for lossless high fidelity sound quality (FLAC), high definition music videos and expertly curated editorial, whilst the $9.99 tier gets you the same content but in standard quality. There is no free option, apart from a 30-day trial.

Check out some photos below.

Update, video added.

Posted by Daft Punk on Monday, March 30, 2015

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  • datadebt

    Really puzzling that the robots are participating in this hi-fi streaming thing. Bangalter said they wouldn’t release an Alive 2007 concert film, even though they’d brought a camera crew to shoot the tour, because “the thousands of clips on the internet are better to us than any DVD that could have been released.” And that’s being pretty charitable to youtube audio/video quality in 2008.

    But then, the whole event is an embarrassment, really. A trainwreck in slow motion.