Jay Z's TIDAL Will Start Streaming Original Shows & That's An Incredibly Smart Move
While I might not have been the biggest fan of the entire idea of TIDAL in the past, I'm intrigued by the new direction in which Jay Z is taking the expensive streaming service. According to Variety, Jay Z's TIDAL will start streaming original shows, both of the scripted and unscripted variety, in addition the the music and music videos that are already available to subscribers. In fact, the party began on November 3 with a series devoted to highlighting comedians called No Small Talk, and will continue in January with the second season of Money & Violence , a hit web series about Brooklyn street life. With more to offer subscribers than ever before, it might be time for people to finally start shelling out the extra money for the kind of enhanced experience than Jay Z is providing, because it's clear that he has big plans for this service.
Many people have remained dubious about the merits of TIDAL because it only seemed to do what other streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify did, but for a lot more money than a subscription to either of those services would cost you. With this new frontier, TIDAL can now count Amazon Prime and Netflix among its contemporaries, which makes the price of $19.99 that you're paying for a premium subscription with high-fidelity sound a lot more reasonable.
According to Variety, "other original video content in TIDAL's pipeline includes a profile series on emerging musicians and sports-related shows," and I couldn't be happier that the company is making this kind of move. In the first place, having more places that can give us access to the kinds of shows and programs that we might not be able to see on network TV is always a plus. There are many web series that are incredibly popular without being widely distributed, not to mention that streaming services provide showrunners with a creative freedom that they wouldn't get in the restrictive realm of network television.
However, I still feel like TIDAL has a long way to go before the streaming service can really be considered, well, worth it for the audiences. So far, TIDAL has yet to provide content that subscribers can't theoretically get anywhere else. Yes, it provides the music videos and behind-the-scenes clips of huge stars like Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, but songs, videos, and behind-the-scenes clips can be found anywhere else — and, being that this is the Internet, they will always eventually be found somewhere else. Original programming can also be found anywhere else, although there's still time for the shows that TIDAL promotes to go big and become to TIDAL what Orange is The New Black is to Netflix. What else is there? What is TIDAL's next step?
And that, I think, is the most exciting part of this announcement: the possibilities. With TIDAL expanding, the company has opened up an entirely new world of possibilities for where it can go next. Instead of seeing a future in which TIDAL continues to be the kind of streaming service that only diehard fans of Jay Z and Beyoncé would drop $10 to sign up for, I see a future in which TIDAL continues to grow and build and surprise people with how innovative they can get in establishing themselves as a real competitor to other, more well-known companies. I see a future in which TIDAL streams movies, web series, and maybe even has audio books to offer its audiences. I see a future in which TIDAL offers bonuses that I can't even conceive of right now. TIDAL isn't going anywhere, and that's a good thing.