Beyonce has surprised fans with a new single and video, released on April 4 to the Tidal streaming service, in which she is a co-owner with her husband Jay Z.
Die With You is a simple ballad, which Beyonce performs alone, seated behind a black baby grand piano.
“I wake up just to sleep with you,” Beyonce sings to the cameraman who, at the end of the video, is revealed to be Jay Z.
Beyonce and Jay Z celebrate their seventh anniversary this weekend.
Both of them are co-owners in Tidal, which was re-launched last week in a star-studded New York ceremony.
Artists including Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Jack White, Kanye West, Madonna, Rihanna and Usher all appeared at the event, signing a declaration that promised to “re-establish the value of music” and protect “the sustainability of the music industry”.
Tidal pitches itself as “the first artist-owned global music and entertainment platform” and promises musicians a greater share of royalties when their music is streamed on the site.
Key to attracting consumers away from rivals like Spotify, Deezer and Rdio is the promise of exclusive content, of which the Beyonce track is the first high-profile example.
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Kanye West, Jack White, Rihanna, Madonna and Coldplay are uniting behind Jay Z’s “artist-friendly” streaming site, Tidal.
They all turned their Twitter profiles teal blue, to reflect Tidal’s branding, on Sunday night.
Tidal launches on March 30, promising CD-quality streaming and thousands of music videos, for a subscription fee.
Taylor Swift, who pulled her catalogue off Spotify last November, is among those to feature on the service.
Her back catalogue – with the exception of her current album, 1989 – is already available on the service, which requires a monthly subscription of $9,99 for standard-quality music, and $19.99 for the “high fidelity” option.
A spokesperson for Taylor Swift said that the star’s back catalogue appears on all streaming services that require a subscription fee.
“This has never been changed. Big Machine Records believes music has value and we do not believe Taylor’s music should be made available for free,” they said.
Other artists publically backing Tidal on social media included DJ Calvin Harris, R&B star Usher, country singer Jason Aldean and Beyonce, who is married to Jay Z.
It has also been rumored that Rihanna’s much-anticipated eighth album will premiere on the service after Monday’s launch event.
Rihanna is signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label, making such a deal possible, but there has been no official confirmation.
Jay Z’s company Project Panther bought Aspiro, a Swedish tech firm that runs two streaming music services (WiMP and Tidal) for $56 million on March 13.
According to Forbes, Jay Z intends to allow artists who sign up to his site reap more rewards than they would on rivals such as Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and Beats Music.
He will announce his plans at a live-streamed launch event in New York.
A press invitation for the event promised that “Shawn <<Jay Z>> Carter and special guests will announce a commitment to a new direction for the music industry from both a creative and business perspective”.
The launch comes as the streaming market becomes increasingly competitive.
The rapid success of Spotify, which now has more than 15 million paid subscribers and 60 million total users, has prompted many tech companies to launch similar services.
Last year, Google announced a subscription service that allows users to stream ad-free music videos, and download them for offline use.
The monthly fee for Music Key also provides membership to Google Play All Access, the company’s pre-existing “all-you-can-eat” music facility.
Apple is poised to launch its own service, after paying $3 million for headphone maker and music-streaming provider Beats Electronics last year.
Jay-Z’s company, Project Panther, has bid to take over Sweden-based company Aspiro AB – which owns music streaming services WiMP and Tidal – for a reported $56 million.
WiMP, which rivals Spotify in some countries, is funded by paid subscriptions and has a one month free trial available.
It is currently available in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Poland.
The service is also available in the US the UK, where it is called Tidal (which streams music in HD).
The move will put Jay-Z in competition with Beats Music, founded by Dr. Dre and bought by Apple in 2014.
Tidal currently offers users access to 25 million tracks, in addition to 75,000 music videos and other content including artist interviews for £19.99 ($24) per month.
Photo Getty Images
That contrasts with Spotify’s charge of $12 per month for 30 million tracks.
Jay-Z has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is estimated to be worth $520 million, but as well as being one of the world’s biggest selling music artists, he has a range of business interests.
If successful, Jay-Z’s bid will add streaming to a portfolio including 40/40 Club sports bars, Armand de Brignac Champagne and clothing brand Rocawear.
His company Project Panther described Aspiro as “an innovative high-quality company with strong future growth potential”.
WiMP has 512,000 paying users in Europe, making it far smaller than its main rival Spotify – it boasts 15 million paying subscribers across more than 60 countries.
The deal looks set to go ahead as Aspiro published a press release welcoming the offer.
“Panther is deemed to possess the capacity to develop the company in a privately owned environment,” the statement said.
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