What is Tidal?

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Would you pay more for a higher quality of music?
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What is Tidal?

Everything you need to know about the high fidelity music service

Many music-streaming services have come and gone over the years, but surprisingly there still isn’t total domination by one single provider (yet). In the UK, our most popular destinations for premium music are Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music (in no particular order) - all with their own dedicated fan bases. Pandora on the other hand, which is very popular in the US, doesn’t get much of a see-in here.

And further to that point, high fidelity music streamer, Tidal, hasn’t made the impact experts thought it would have. But should it have? Why is it different? And is it worth the extra cost? Let’s find out…

What makes Tidal different?

One of the big differences between artist-ownedTidal and the others we mentioned above, is its high fidelity library. This basically means that the sound quality is closer to the original recording than you would get elsewhere, and more like the artist intended it to originally sound before compression.

To be able to really appreciate the added quality, you’ll have to be listening through high quality speakers or headphones. If you’ve got the right equipment, you should hear a difference and parts of songs you’ve never noticed before. But if you were planning on tuning in with the free headphones that came with your phone, you might be disappointed.

There’s also exclusivity to contend with. With there being very little that separates the Spotifys from the Apple Musics, Tidal is pinning its hopes of success on content you can’t get anywhere else. Most recently, Jay-Z decided to make his album, 4:44, a Tidal-exclusive. Daft Punk and Taylor Swift have previously kept parts of their respective material exclusive to the Tidal streaming service, however, over the past few years, it hasn’t stayed that way... Sign of the times?

What is Tidal’s music selection like?

A press conference held in March 2015 introduced 16 artists including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Madonna, Arcade Fire, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, as ‘owners of Tidal’, which gives you an idea of the sort of music available. The service has around 50 million tracks available to stream, alongside 175,000 high definition music videos.

Tidal is also more expensive than its competitors. The company claims that the bigger monthly cost equals higher royalties for the artists we all know and love - compared to the fractions of a penny they get paid per play on the other services. In the UK it costs £9.99 for a standard monthly subscription, or £19.99 p/m for the high quality version the company rests its laurels on.

Follow the link to check out Tidal. Or to head straight to your mobile app store, click here for Google Play, and here for Apple's App Store. You can enjoy a 30-day free trial by clicking through to the ‘Try now’ tab in the top right. Or, if you’re a diehard Spotify or Apple Music-user, let us know why below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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