Tidal Music Streaming Service: What is it?

Tidal Music Streaming Logo

Tidal music streaming service may be best known as “Jay Z’s random company.”(Jay Z is one of the co-owners and has promoted it heavily.)

But the Tidal platform and music streaming service is actually very similar to Spotify, Apple Music, etc – millions of tracks and albums that you can listen to at any time as well as playlists, radio, and more – and they now have millions of subscribers to show for it.

What Makes Tidal music streaming Different?

There are a few main things that set the Tidal music streaming experience apart.

First, exclusive content. Artists that have released albums exclusively through Tidal include Kanye, Jay Z, Beyonce, and many more. So they’re getting some very popular, huge artists and music that you can’t stream on any other service. Typically it’s only their new albums that are exclusive to Tidal (and often only temporarily), but there are exceptions: Jay Z has removed older albums like the classic Reasonable Doubt from Spotify.

However, if you’re not a fan of this small (albeit enormously popular) handful of musicians, the exclusivity won’t really affect you – the majority of new albums come out on all of the streaming services, not just Tidal.

One of the other unique Tidal perks is exclusive video content. For example, Lemonade, the visual album by Beyonce was released exclusively on Tidal (with just 24 hours on HBO Go). Though other services may not have as much exclusive video content, Spotify and other competitors are starting to move towards incorporating video.

Another aspect of Tidal that sets it apart (albeit one that doesn’t affect the user experience): Tidal pays a higher rate per song to the artist – at least 3x more than Spotify, even by conservative estimates. Ironically, this has become one of the reason that some people avoid Tidal, as the artists promoting it were worth hundreds of millions and came across to some as greedy for pleading for more money from streaming services.

How Much Does Tidal Cost?

Tidal subscriptions cost either $9.99/month or $19.99 a month, depending on whether you want the HiFi version (“Lossless” High Fidelity sound quality).

Interested in trying it out? You can sign up for Tidal or start a free trial here.

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