Tidal calls itself a “High Fidelity Music Streaming” site. The Jay Z owned service claims to give artists and producers more royalties than other music sites, which would explain their premium pricing. Tidal, unlike the kings of music streaming Spotify, do not offer a free service plan. In fact, Tidal’s cheapest plan is $9.99 a month, which is the same price of Spotify’s premium plan. Tidal’s basic plan gives you ad-free music, standard sound quality, and high-definition music videos.
Where Tidal really differentiates itself is with its “HiFi” plan. The plan is $19.99 a month, but it gives you the high fidelity sound quality the site advertises. You can definitely tell the difference in quality and it’s the best way to fully appreciate the creations our favorite artists give us. Along with both services, the site also has the “Tidal Store” which offers many albums for purchase, but usually ones that you could find in the iTunes store. The service will undoubtedly start to top the music streaming game soon enough.
The site got a huge boost when rapper Kanye West announced his latest album The Life of Pablo will be exclusively streaming on Tidal and not available for sale anywhere else. This type of endorsement could start a trend. With the amount of influence Jay Z, Beyoncé, and Kanye West have on the Hip-Hop and pop world, it wouldn’t be shocking to see more and more big named artists start to work through Tidal on more of an exclusive basis. Rihanna also previewed her album Anti on Tidal, as well.
Tidal’s sound quality is pioneering, but there is some stuff the site must work on.
Album Leaks/Music Pirating:
The site has made it easy for people to pirate music. Kanye West and Rihanna’s work have suffered from this. The Life of Pablo and Anti have been the two most torrented albums in the past few months, thanks to the streaming service. Rihanna’s album was also the victim of an early leak, which Tidal blamed Universal Records for. The site still has a lot of security issues to work on.
Understanding that the site is set up for artists to make more money from Tidal than other streaming sites, the site still needs to find a way to make a plan that’ll seem more reasonable to consumers. Paying $240 a year annually for the “HiFi” service, when people can pay half of that for a Spotify premium service will continue to slow subscribers to the site.
If Tidal wants to keep its pricing, it will need to come up with more features. Exclusive releases are great, but the fact is that listeners won’t get exclusive releases of artists they like often. Exclusive interviews, opportunities to win concert tickets, and offering more customization would be start to justify the pricing.
Overall, I’d suggest trying out the 30-day free trials. Tidal’s HiFi service is the future of music streaming. The technology is there, now everything must come a long with it.