As Jay Z sees it, there is a clear solution to the problems facing musicians in the streaming age. They should band together — behind him, of course.
The rap star and entertainment mogul has announced his plans for Tidal, a subscription streaming service he recently bought for $56 million. Facing competition from Spotify, Google and other companies that will soon include Apple, Tidal will be a home for high-fidelity audio and exclusive content.
A majority of the company will be owned by artists. The move may bring financial benefits for those involved, but it is also powerfully symbolic in a business where musicians have seldom had direct control over how their work is consumed.
The plan was unveiled on Monday at a news conference in Manhattan, where Jay Z stood alongside more than a dozen musicians identified as Tidal's owners. They included Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Alicia Keys and country singer Jason Aldean.
Tidal will have no free version. Instead, it will have two subscription tiers defined by audio quality: $10 a month for a compressed format (the standard on most digital outlets) and $20 for CD-quality streams.
Legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was hospitalized in Los Angeles late Tuesday after she was found unconscious,Variety reported. Paramedics rushed to her Bel Air home after receiving a 911 call about an unconscious woman. It said she was alert on her way to the hospital. Mitchell, 71, is an eight-time Grammy winner whose many popular songs include "Woodstock," and "Big Yellow Taxi." JoniMitchell.com also reported that she was hospitalized.
Reprise: British pop star Ed Sheeran, who wowed a Target Center crowd with his one-man band antics in September, will return to the Twin Cities on Sept. 15 at Xcel Energy Center. The 24-year-old has scored a string of hits including "Sing," "Don't" and "Thinking Out Loud," Tickets, priced at $59.50 and $69.50, will go on sale at noon April 17, with sales to fan club members and American Express cardholders starting at 10 a.m. April 13.
Twitter trouble: A day after Trevor Noah was declared the new host of "The Daily Show," complete with the blessing of the exiting Jon Stewart, graphic tweets targeting women, Jews and victims of the Ebola virus are causing a social media backlash. By Tuesday, Noah was a trending topic on Twitter as he drew fire for jokes described as tasteless, hateful — and unfunny. Rosanne Barr was among those calling out the comic.