In this week's Friday 5, Tidal becomes your main source for Jay Z, Spotify partners with UMG, YouTube TV streams Live TV for $35 per month, Hulu lets you stream entire TV seasons in under five minutes, and animation app FlipaClip entices new iOS users with a creative contest.
Jigga what? Jigga where? Jay Z fans had only one problem, this week, when they couldn't find much of the rap legend's music catalog on Apple Music or Spotify. While most of the tunes are back on Apple Music and some are still on Spotify, Jay Z is clearly in a music empire state of mind and wants to remind fans that his competing streaming site, Tidal, still exists. And it's the only place to find all of his albums.
Spotify may have lost Jay Z, but it's made other gains in recent weeks. The music streaming service inked a new licensing agreement with Universal Music Group (the company that once swallowed up Jay Z's former label Roc-A-Fella Records) to release new albums from Universal artists -- such as Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Adele -- exclusively on Spotify Premium, its $9.99-per-month paid tier, two weeks before they're made available to basic plan holders. But don't count on any Jay Z.
On the video front, YouTube TV, Google's brand new skinny-bundle TV service, offers live streaming of 40-something channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Fox News, and Bravo, for $35 per month. Subscribers will also enjoy a variety of sporting events, unlimited DVR space, and the ability to view YouTube TV in a browser, on a phone, or streamed to a TV via Chromecast. Test it out with a 30-day free trial, and then expect to spend $35 a month for the basic service or $39.99 if you subscribe through the iOS App Store.
No time to watch your favorite shows live or catch up on demand? There's a service for that -- on Hulu. Called simply Hu, the new feature enables you to binge-watch bite-sized episodes of your favorite shows, such as "Seinfeld," "The Mindy Project," "Empire," "Shut Eye," and "The Path" in eight seconds or less, commercial free. That means you can stream entire seasons in under five minutes. Just don't binge so fast, you choke.
If you'd prefer to create your own entertainment, particularly animation, then FlipaClip, long on Android, is now on iOS. To engage users, development company Visual Blasters is teaming with country-pop-rock indie-band Tell Her I Love Her to host a contest within the FlipaClip app, offering users the opportunity to create an animated music video for the band's first single, "Unravel." You have till April 26 to submit your entry. Your video will be judged by an esteemed panel, including Grammy- and MTV-award-winning animator, Michael Patterson, known for such iconic '80s videos as A-ha's "Take On Me" and Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract."