Just like many of you, I have a monthly subscription to the popular music streaming app Spotify. I listen to Spotify daily; when I’m on the subway, when I’m at home. Everywhere I go, Spotify is with me. When Tidal launched in 2015, I noticed a lot of people were mocking the app on Twitter. There was also negative press surrounding the music streaming service. Beyonce’s latest album “LEMONADE” was released only on Tidal, this Saturday (April 23, 2016). This prompted even more backlash towards the music streaming app. As a result, I think it’s understandable that I was apprehensive to try even the free month of Tidal. But, I’ve finally taken the plunge and purchased a subscription for Tidal. So, is Tidal 2016 worth it? Let’s see:
Design & Quality
When I first downloaded Tidal, I was quite please with the app’s futuristic design. It’s color pallet consists of black, white and aquamarine. A friendly welcome screen appeared to show how to navigate the app. I was then taken to a signup page where I made an account and purchased my subscription for $9.99CAD. You can pay using a credit, debit card or with PayPal.
Once the transaction was complete, I was automatically taken to the “What’s New” page. Beyonce latest album “LEMONADE” was front and center on the page. They also had the late, Prince’s albums which I felt showed how their up to date with current events. Here, I discovered that subscribers can watch high definition (up to 1080p) music videos. I had no idea that Tidal played music videos! That was great news. Also, the sound quality is amazing and when I was listening to ‘One Dance’ by Drake, I found the sound was louder and crisper on Tidal than on Spotify.
So how big is Tidal’s music catalogue? Tidal currently has licensed 40 million tacks and 130,000 high quality videos. To put this to the test, I searched for artists that I listen to. Drake, Calvin Harris, Jazmine Sullivan, Tory Lanez, Party Next Door, and Kehlani. They’re all there. Luckily, I don’t listen to a ton of unknown artists so I wasn’t disappointed. But, those artists are pretty popular right now so that was easy.
As I said earlier, you can watch high definition music videos on Tidal. This includes exclusive concert videos from popular artists Tidal has partnered with. Subscribers can also save playlists or individual tracks and listen to them offline. This is important for me since I’m a commuter and WiFi isn’t on the subways in Toronto yet. Also, there’s a cool visual when playing a track, where the album cover spins around like a vinyl player. It’s a nice touch! You can listen to Tidal on a variety of devices. Including on your PC, laptop, and online via their website. They even have a beta app that you can download for both PC and Mac computers.
Tidal also has a $19.99 subscription plan which offers even higher sound and video quality to subscribers. They describe the quality as “high-fidelity sound” which basically means it’s CD level quality. I have not tried this subscription so I can’t say much about it, but if you’re a serious music lover with serious sound equipment, this might be worth checking out.
Tidal For The Artists
Tidal Discovery (a section in the app) is in their own words “designed to give unsigned artists the break they deserve” (Tidal, 2016). It features a bunch of new and upcoming artists which I think is a great way to help them get their foot in the door and get their music out to (over 1 million) Tidal subscribers. Similarly, Tidal Rising is described as “a program dedicated to artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and are ready to broaden that base to a wider audience” (Tidal, 2016). So if you’re looking for some new artists, Tidal Discover and Tidal Rising is the place to be.
Playlists For Various Moods & Genres
There are also a variety of different playlists for various moods and genres. Their playlists include the staples, like ‘relax’, ‘workout’, ‘love’ and ‘focus’ for studying students. They also have some unique playlists like ‘media’. This includes tracks from popular TV shows and movies like Mad Max, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Girls and Empire. They also have a playlist named ‘Events. This features tracks from events around the world like Coachella, SXSW and Lollapalooza.
Now that I’ve actually used and experienced Tidal, I prefer it over Spotify. Spotify has been around longer, and as a result, more people have Spotify. But, change is good. Yes, we’re all used to Spotify, but it took me a few minutes to get acquainted with Tidal and now, I love it. You get so many of the same features as Spotify. Also, since I can watch music videos on it, I feel like I’m getting more for the same price as Spotify. I’m getting the high quality music and videos. There’s also the offline functionality, which is a must for me. Visually, Tidal looks better than Spotify.
Tidal is awesome and I’m going to try it for the rest of the month and then cancel my Spotify subscription (I’ll keep you updated on that). Tidal is better than Spotify and it’s only been around for a year. Congrats Jay-Z, you just earned another subscriber!
“Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists” Tidal is platinum. 1,000,000 people and counting. Let’s celebrate 10/20 Brooklyn.
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) September 29, 2015
Now It’s Your Turn!
Do you agree or disagree with this review? Have you tried Tidal? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments section below!
Tidal. (2016). Aspiro AB (Version 126.96.36.1999.4) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/store?hl=en