Less than a week after YouTube officially launched a $9.99-per-month premium service called YouTube Red, a similarly-priced platform has begun its own trek into the world of original video programming. Tidal, the year-old streaming service owned by rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z, has released its first original series, a stand-up comedy program called No Small Talk.
No Small Talk, which will premiere its first five episodes on November 3rd, will be hosted by DJ Cipha Sounds, who will play the emcee role across a series of stand-up routines from various comedians. The series’ trailer can be found on the Tidal homepage, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, the first episode will be posted there as well, as a way to entice potential viewers to pay for the $9.99 monthly subscription they’ll need to watch the whole series.
While No Small Talk will be Tidal’s first original series, it will soon be joined by the second season of Money & Violence, a web series that initially premiered on YouTube. The new episodes will arrive on Tidal in January.
Tidal has always featured an assortment of music videos, so a foray into original content makes sense. The only question is whether Tidal’s originals will catch on, given the lingering questions that have dogged the platform since its launch and its high-profile acquisition by its current owner. Tidal certainly has a nice base on which to build its video library (it has more than half a million subscribers), but with quality content, it has the potential to further build that base.