Jay Z's Tidal to celebrate 1 million subscribers with mega concert

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jay Z's global streaming music service Tidal on Wednesday announced a superstars' charity concert in New York to celebrate reaching one million subscribers, six months after it launched.

Jay Z, his wife Beyonce, Prince, Usher, and Nicki Minaj will headline the Oct 20 concert in Brooklyn, with tickets going on sale on Wednesday (Sept 30), first to Tidal subscribers. The concert will also be streamed live for both subscribers and non-subscribers via tidal.com.

Tickets for the concert are priced between US$74 and US$244 (S$106 and S$348), and all proceeds will go to the non-profit group New World Foundation, which works with community organisations on issues including civil rights, social justice, poverty and education. Viewers watching online can also donate during the live stream.

Tidal launched in March offering only paid subscriptions, billing itself as the first of its kind music streaming service owned by artists, but it has struggled to compete against more established rivals Spotify and Pandora, both of which offer free streaming services supported by advertising, and Apple Music.

Rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z, who purchased Tidal from Swedish company Aspiro for US$54 million this year, said in April that the service, which is backed by top names like Madonna, Rihanna and Chris Martin, had more than 770,000 subscribers.

In a celebratory tweet on Tuesday on the eve of the concert announcement, Jay Z wrote: "'Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists' Tidal is platinum. 1,000,000 people and counting. Let's celebrate 10/20 Brooklyn."

Tidal has faced its detractors in the music industry, artists ranging from rapper 50 Cent to British rocker Noel Gallagher. British folk band Mumford & Sons said independent bands need support more than Tidal's already wealthy artists trying to make more money.

Tidal has taken up some of those concerns and the October concert will feature a number of artists from its programmes to promote new and rising talent in the music industry, according to the event website.

Spotify, the music streaming leader, has more than 20 million paid subscribers. Apple said in August that its streaming service, launched on June 30, had attracted more than 11 million members during its free trial period.