We are going to explain what Tidal is, what it offers, and what its subscription options are so that you can get to know one of the main alternatives to Spotify in the world of music streaming services. Every music streaming service has its personality with distinctive features, and Tidal is no exception.
We’re going to start by explaining what Tidal is, where it comes from and what its purpose is in the industry. Then, we will go on to tell you the main features that this service offers, and we will finish by telling you about the prices. A small forward is that it offers HiFi quality for the same price as Spotify’s monthly subscription, although it lacks some features.
What is Tidal
Tidal is a music streaming service created in 2014. That same year, Tidal was bought by rapper Jay-Z along with a group of personalities from the music world such as madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Daft Punk, among others. It is, therefore, an artist-driven alternative to try to compete against Spotify, which from the beginning was supported by record labels such as Sony, Universal, and Warner.
It is a music streaming service. This means that you pay a monthly subscription, and in exchange, you have access to its extensive catalog of 80 million songs and 350,000 videos. You can listen to this content directly through the Internet in its web version or its applications for mobile and computer, and you can also download songs to listen to them when you are offline.
Tidal was born in a context of dissatisfaction of artists with Spotify, as it is the service that pays artists the least for their reproductions. In this context, they decided to create their platform and try to compete with it with a fairer remuneration for artists.
From the beginning, Tidal has tried to focus on musical quality and has several levels of quality. Its purpose has been to focus mainly on the audiophile market, in exchange for having a more expensive subscription than Spotify, although this price can vary depending on the quality you are looking for.
About the price, the HiFi quality version has the same price as Spotify and offers you music in the same quality as you listen to it on a CD. But if you want the music in studio quality and other surround formats, then you will have to pay twice as much.
What Tidal offers
Tidal’s main claim to fame is the sound quality. Depending on the subscription, you can listen to music in HiFi sound quality at 1411 kbps, or Master sound qualities up to 9216 kbps depending on the platform, plus Dolby Atmos surround sound and Sony 360 Reality Audio. To give you an idea, Spotify has a quality of up to 320 kbps on the PC and 256 kbps in its web version, much less for free users.
Just as Spotify offers podcasts in addition to music, in the case of Tidal, the platform chooses to offer various types of videos in its catalog. These videos can be video clips that you can watch on their app without having to go to any other website or even some exclusive documentaries from select artists.
Tidal also offers you personalized playlists with your tastes, so that every day you have new music to listen to. It also has listed new releases from artists that you follow or that match your musical tastes, as well as other exclusive playlists created with specific music genres or artists, or even with new songs that are becoming more and more popular to keep you ahead of upcoming trends.
The playlists created by Tidal for specific genres or specific artists are very good, and a user coming from Spotify may be surprised by their quality. You also have your daily set of lists. But perhaps its big point against are the lists of new releases, as it tends to add several artists of genres that do not interest you. Maybe you like rock, and you find several RAP artists among your new releases suggestions.
As you could not miss any service of this type, you will have the ability to follow artists, save albums in your catalog, and mark that you like specific songs. You can also create your playlists, organize them into folders or share them through social networks or a personalized link.
Another of its strong points is its credit system. When you enter an artist’s profile, you will be able to see not only their songs but also the songs they have composed for others, the collaborations they have done, or even their work as a producer. This is very powerful when you are a fan of an artist and want to explore other works.
Finally, Tidal also has a system to connect with other devices and pass the sound to them. Unfortunately, they started with collaborations aimed more at audiophiles, with sound equipment from prestigious brands and expensive devices, but they have not yet reached worldwide devices with Alexa, although Google devices can send content via Chromecast. Unfortunately, you can’t move music from PC to mobile from the app either, with Tidal Connect being far inferior to Spotify Connect.
What subscription options does it offer?
|Sound Quality||HiFi up to 1411kbps||Master Quality Audio, Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and HiFi up to 9216 kbps|
|Catalog||More than 80 million songs|
More than 350,000 videos
|More than 80 million songs|
More than 350,000 videos
|Stats of Most Listened Artists||Yes, month to month||Yes, month to month|
|Expertly Curated Playlists||Yes||Yes|
|Direct Payments to the Artists||No||Yes, up to 10% of your subscription goes to the artists you listen to the most|
|Pricing||$9.99 per month||$19.99 per month|
Spotify has two different sound quality modes. You have the HiFi mode for the same price as Spotify and other alternatives, and another mode with a superior sound that costs twice as much. Sony’s Dolby Atmos and 360 sound are only available in the more expensive mode, which at the same time promises a higher payout to the artists you listen to the most. In 2022, they will also inform you how much your favorite artists earn thanks to your listening.
In both cases, you always have a one-month free trial with either subscription. In addition, Tidal runs frequent promotions in which you can find yourself with 3 months free. Therefore, you will always be able to try it for a month and then decide whether to continue or not.
In summary, we can tell you that in the most expensive subscription you will pay for the Master Audio Quality, which is a bit controversial among audiophiles, as some consider that it has some loss, it is not completely lossless. You’ll also get access to Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 formats, although the catalog of songs with this surround sound is very limited. For everything else, a normal price.
There is also a family subscription, which is priced at $14.99 per month for the HiFi version, and $29.99 for the HiFi Plus. In these subscription modes you can add up to 5 additional accounts, and each of them will have its recommendations based on the individual tastes of each family member.
Finally, there is a student plan with a 50% discount on the subscription price. To qualify for this discount, you must be an eligible college and high school student 16 years of age or older, although you will need to verify that you are a student to qualify for the discount.