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By Joe Otterson, TheWrap
Tidal, the music streaming service purchased by Jay Z in January, announced Thursday that the service is expanding into eight new markets: New Zealand, Israel, Monaco, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Iceland, Thailand and Malaysia.
With this expansion, Tidal is now available in 43 countries globally, including the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, South Africa and the Czech Republic.
Tidal offers 25 million songs and over 75,000 videos. It also gives its members access to exclusive music, videos, tickets and merchandise for artists like Rihanna and Beyonce.
The streaming service launched last year before it was bought by Jay Z for a reported $56 million. He relaunched the app at a star-studded gathering that featured Kanye West, Madonna, and Dead Mau5, on March 30. Tidal is seen as a rival to Spotify, though it doesn’t have a free, ad-supported version. Standard definition streaming starts at $9.99 a month, and a high definition audio version goes for $19.99.
Despite its lofty goals, Tidal has been hit with a barrage of criticism, not just from fans, but from performers alike, including Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard.
“I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid,” Gibbard said. “That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably.”
Despite the backlash, Jay Z maintained that the company will be alright and tweeted, “Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month.”
He also asked that fans and critics give the service time to find its legs. “The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day,” the enterprising rapper wrote. “It took Spotify 9 years to be successful.”
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