Tidal: A game changer for the music industry?
You may have recently seen blue profile pictures and #TIDALForALL. The hype is around Tidal, a high fidelity music streaming service, which was recently brought by Jay-Z in January for $56 million. I tested the streaming service Tidal back in December after writing this article on the quality of the music we listen to.
The live event was pretty short and sweet, the ‘founders’ (listed below) held a press conference in which they came together to sign a contract and re-launch Tidal. There were rumours of a new album release from the likes of Rihanna or Jay-Z but nothing came through.
The ‘Founders’ list is a set of music mega-stars:
- Alicia Keys
- Win Butler & Régine Chassagne (Arcade Fire)
- Calvin Harris
- Chris Martin (Coldplay)
- Daft Punk
- Jack White
- Jason Aldean
- J Cole
- Kanye West
- Nicki Minaj
A music platform owned by musicians seems much more organic than a corporate company or management. In theory with such a backing of artists this should put Tidal in the race for becoming a well subscribed streaming service. I think the next couple of months is an interesting time, Tidal only launched last October (2014) and is a very young company. Competitors like Spotify have been around years, founded in 2006, so it’ll be interesting to see if Tidal can live up to the hype and play catch up.
The service currently offers two tiers of subscription: Tidal Premium (£9.99 pm) and Tidal HiFi (£19.99 pm). The only noticeable difference being an extra high quality audio option ‘HiFi’ (adding Flac 1411 kbps – Lossless) for the audiophiles.
Highlights of Tidal:
- Lossless Audio
- Curated Playlists
- Extra Information (artist content)
- Easy access queue (swipe right-to-left)
- Offline mode
- HD Music Videos
- Audio Search
- Ad Free
- Available on all systems
Since checking out the service in December, the iOS app has improved tenfold the design is clear and extremely responsive. One of my favourite features is the easy access to the queue, regardless of where in the app you are just swipe right-to-left and it appears. Another intriguing feature is audio search which after giving a quick test seems to work, even if a little slow – but a nice feature to have within the player (something competitors haven’t thought of).
After finishing up the article I took out a 30 day trial for the ‘HiFi’ subscription. The app makes the experience magical and seamless, I can’t tell if it’s down to fact it is new but it feels better than the spotify app – these are only first impressions so after a bit more use I may post another update.
The sound really does speak for itself, I would recommend signing up for a free trial and experiencing it!