Just as SoundCloud unveils its own subscription streaming service, TIDAL tries to grab some of the spotlight just one before the one-year anniversary of its star-studded and much-maligned press conference in New York City last year announcing its artist-focused relaunch. The Jay Z-acquired service keep data close to the vest, but today have unveiled new subscription numbers and the streaming totals for its biggest release to date - Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo.
According to TIDAL, West's Life Of Pablo was streamed 250 million times in the first 10 days after it was first posted in February. Kanye has been adamant about keeping the full album an exclusive on the service, though his controversial song "Famous" featuring Rihanna is now available on Spotify and Apple Music, which has angered some fans.
Integrating streaming into his music even further, Kanye has been updating the album over the past month, notably songs like "Wolves," with new versions and updated masters. This could be a new standard for how artists use streaming, like how tropical house artist Matoma has his "living album" that is always being updated almost weekly on Spotify and SoundCloud.
To go along with the streaming numbers for Yeezy, TIDAL also updated its total subscription numbers. It now claims to have more than three million paid subscribers globally. In a year, TIDAL has added 2.5 million from the approximately 540,000 it had when it officially launched in the U.S. last year. According to Billboard, around 45 percent, or about 1.35 million of those new subscribers went for the hi-fidelity, lossless audio/video tier of TIDAL, which costs $19.99 per month as opposed to the standard $9.99 a month for a regular subscription.
The 3 million subscribers is a solid number for TIDAL who seems to be battling negative headlines monthly with botched album launches, executives shakeups and the like, but there does appear to be growth. Their growth is still lagging behind Apple Music who has signed up 11 million people since the end of June and Spotify just eclipsed 30 million paid subscribers. With SoundCloud entering the fray hoping to convert at least a fraction of its 175 million monthly users to paying customers, TIDAL will feel the squeeze even more in a competitive streaming market.