Check out Twitter and Facebook today and you may notice the cover and/or profile photos of musical artists from Kanye West to Madonna to Coldplay are blue. Why? Jay Z. The rapper is launching his own music streaming service tonight, and artists started turning their social media profiles teal last night to promote the service, known as Tidal, Mashable reports. Sample tweet accompanying the blue overhaul, from Usher: "It's time to turn the tide and make music history. Show you are part of the movement by turning your profile pic blue. #TIDALforALL." (Some tweets about Tidal also taunt "#RIPspotify.") Others supporting the service include Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and, of course, Beyonce.
It's not clear exactly why artists are so excited about the service. All the website promises so far is "the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos, and expertly Curated Editorial," and Jay Z has promised via press release "a commitment to a new direction for the music industry from both a creative and business perspective," per TechCrunch. But insiders say musicians will get better payouts from Tidal than they get from its streaming rivals, and Tidal will aim to score initial releases of new tracks before other services. Pricing starts at $9.99 a month after a free trial. Jay Z will unveil the service in New York at 5pm Eastern. Technically, he's taking over: He bought Swedish tech company Aspiro this year, and that company ran Tidal and another streaming service, WiMP.