If you balked at the ticket price for Prince's "Rally 4 Peace" concert at Royal Farms Arena on Sunday, Tidal — the Jay Z-backed, more expensive music streaming option to Spotify that launched in March — will stream an hour of the show for free on its website.
The stream will be available to the public rather than only to Tidal subscribers, according to a press release. Listeners will be able to donate money to "Baltimore youth charities," and Tidal will match the amount generated on its website, said Shaun Leavy of the agency MWW, which is doing public relations for Tidal.
Publicists for Prince, Tidal and Live Nation have not answered The Sun's questions regarding the amount of proceeds that will be donated to the local youth charities, nor have they identified organizations will receive funds.
On Friday evening, more tickets for the concert were made available through Ticketmaster at a new price, $72. Customers were also able to buy four tickets per household rather than the original two-ticket limit.
The Tidal website will also have an option for listeners to donate to the Baltimore Justice Fund, which George Soros' Open Society Institute-Baltimore created on Friday. The fund's purpose is to "support focused interventions to improve police accountability and police-community relationships, reduce the numbers of Baltimoreans caught up in the criminal system without compromising public safety and engage Marylanders, especially young people, in advocacy for programs and policies to increase opportunity and racial justice," according to a press release.
Debra Rubino, director of strategic communications at OSI-Baltimore, said on Friday that Tidal approached the foundation to raise awareness of the new fund. Tidal will not donate money to the Baltimore Justice Fund, Leavy said, but will match funds raised to support the non-specified charities.
At this point, according to Rubino, no conversations have occurred between OSI-Baltimore and Prince's team.
Another new fund to help the city recover from the unrest related to Freddie Gray's death was announced Friday. Money raised by the Baltimore Community Foundation's "Fund for Rebuilding Baltimore" will repair damaged businesses and neighborhoods, and will also support nonprofit organizations "that focus on creating economic opportunities for young people," a press release stated. The fund has received gifts and pledges totaling close to $350,000 from donations across the country, and corporate support from companies like CVS Health and Exelon.
Jay Z, the rapper-turned-mogul, offered his support for Prince and Baltimore in the Tidal press release.
"I am honored to join Prince in his mission to inspire through the uniting power of music and be able to offer a platform where this moment can be shared globally. We invite all to experience the music and contribute in their own way to promote peace, tolerance and understanding," Jay Z said in the release. "Our prayers go out to Freddie Gray's family and every family affected by brutality and senseless violence."
Prince, the enigmatic star who last played Baltimore in April 2001, announced the concert on Tuesday night through Live Nation, and tickets ($22-$497) went on sale the following afternoon. As of Friday, tickets were still available.
Tidal grabbed headlines in March when stars like Kanye West, Madonna, Daft Punk and others joined Jay Z for the company's high-profile launch. But it didn't take long for technology bloggers to notice Tidal's struggles, like when it had fallen out of Apple's Top 700 apps.
Jay Z responded on Twitter by saying, "We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better."
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In an effort to separate itself from competitors and possibly justify its higher subscription price ($19.99/month for Tidal HiFi versus Spotify's $9.99/month), Tidal offers exclusive artist-driven content and experiences. Recent examples of content available only to Tidal subscribers include streams of a Jack White acoustic show and Jay Z's "B Sides" concert on Wednesday.