For those who enjoy spending excessive sums of money on marginally better sound quality, the new music streaming service Tidal, which is owned by Jay-Z, is perfect for you.
For the rest of us, there’s a myriad of seemingly identical streaming services which do not cost an extra $120 a year.
After two weeks of using Tidal, I am thoroughly convinced that it is the highest quality streaming service on the market.
Yet while Tidal delivers on its promises of superior sound quality and exclusive content with the release of exclusive new songs from Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Beyonce and others, it comes at a very high cost: specifically, $19.99 a month.
In many respects, Tidal’s 25 million-song library, which can be accessed through apps on iOS and Android as well as on computers, is very similar to the already-existing music streaming services such as Spotify, Beats Music and Google Play. However, their sound quality, which is as impressive on paper as it is on speakers, acts as their best selling point.
Tidal’s “lossless” sound quality has a bit rate of 1,411kbps, as opposed to Spotify’s “extreme” quality, which is only 320kbps and the even lesser iTunes’ 256kbps. In English, Tidal sounds really good.
Tidal also boasts another major feature none of its competitors can, and that’s star power.
Support from artists such as Madonna, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj not only gives Tidal publicity, but also allows Tidal to keep true to their promise of releasing songs exclusively on Tidal so that people must subscribe if they want to hear the latest tracks.
Regardless of whether you love or hate Tidal, it appears that there may soon be significant changes to the service, as the company is withering.
With the benefits not living up to their expectations and consumers largely rejecting the service, it is becoming clear that the once-anticipated service will be forced to either adapt or die.
With Tidal now out of the top 700 apps on the Apple App Store, and after the recent resignation of Tidal CEO Andy Chen, the future of the service is uncertain.
The way listeners consume their music is constantly changing with new services popping up and fizzling out all the time, and looking at Tidal’s current state, it seems likely that their high price will make them just another blip in the continuum.
But then again, if heavy spending is your thing, there is no questioning that Tidal is the Rolls Royce of music streaming.