Tidal Ventures into Original TV Programming

Tidal Ventures into Original TV Programming
Ever since Jay Z launched his celebrity-endorsed streaming service Tidal earlier this year, it has been dogged about schadenfreude-filled predictions about its imminent demise. Still, Tidal keeps on pressing ahead, and now it has announced plans to branch into the world of TV.

Tidal has acquired the rights to the second season of Money & Violence, a gritty drama about life on the streets of Brooklyn. The first season aired as a popular indie web series in 2014, and the 12-episode second season will premiere in January. Tidal will have the exclusive for the first week, with wider distribution to follow after that. The first season of the show is on Tidal now.

Additionally, a five-episode unscripted series about young comedians called No Small Talk is premiering today (November 3). It focuses on comedians performing at Manhattan's Comedy Cellar.

Tidal is also working on series focusing on musicians and sports. The service already has a visual component in the form of music videos, live concerts and short films, but these are its first full-blown original series. Exec Tim Riley said in a statement [via Variety], "If someone is paying for Tidal, we want that to be the best experience they can have."

By combining music content with original series, Tidal is keeping pace with YouTube Red, a service that combines an extensive music catalogue with video content and planned original series. YouTube Red isn't yet available in Canada, however.

Meanwhile, Apple Music and Spotify don't have any original TV programming, although Variety previously reported that Apple Music was planning to expand its scope, possibly in an attempt to compete with Netflix.