I’m sure you all remember. The ghastly ad-commercial that bordered on pretentious featuring Jay-Z, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Kanye and several other famous stars. It was a sight to behold and it almost seemed like a parody. With Spotify, Youtube and Apple Music completely dominating the scene, TIDAL had a lot to live up to.
In efforts to increase interest, TIDAL and music artists who endorsed it created a social media campaign in 2015 which required social media artists to change their social media pictures to blue and put #TIDALforAll in the caption. This social media campaign was active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
That all happened after Jay-Z acquisitioned Aspiro AB in March 2015. Several other music artists either owned stakes in TIDAL or were co-owners of the company. Despite large endorsement and a largely celebrity intensive ad campaign, the company was not doing too good and articles flooded the internet in 2017 suggesting TIDAL had gotten themselves in a somewhat murky financial mess.
Kanye West decided to depart from TIDAL in 2017 and set himself aside from the business. West ended the contract with TIDAL through lawyers and was allegedly owed up to $3m. There was also discussion about unfulfilled contract clauses in the way of exclusive videos for the platform. In layman’s terms, TIDAL says West never recorded any videos.
The streaming service boasted higher quality streaming and fairer royalty pay-outs to artists. The mantra is fair enough and I completely agree with it. It was just advertised in a horrible way.
Years on and it is not talked about anymore. The streets are devoid of the word ‘TIDAL’ unless someone is talking about the sea. It is still active and nowadays it simply exists. Tucked comfortably behind the army of news stories about Spotify and Apple Music, it just continues; despite lack of news or publicity.
In recent years, TIDAL has been in hot water following alleged subscriber and stream figure manipulation. In short, somebody been lying, apparently.
TIDAL is still about today, however you will find next to no news on them. However, this year, TIDAL has been busy attempting to revive its image in the press.
TIDAL unplugged is a concept unveiled by the company this year. It is an essence an artist grant programme that aims to bring talented rappers out from the community of Detroit. The programme was born through a generous donation from Robert Nelson and Mark Lampert. The programme begins in Detroit by way of a pilot run. Local musicians will submit their music in the hopes of winning part of the $1m grant.
In efforts to set themselves aside from streaming giants Spotify and Apple Music, TIDAL now accepts Venmo as a legitimate form of payment. Its not a major change, but I suppose it’s a start.
So how is it fairing now against its competitors? Let’s take a look at the track list first.
As you can see, TIDAL is massively ahead in terms of track listings. 60 million tracks is impressive, majorly impressive. At least TIDAL can boast that it knocks the other competitors out of the park in this respect. You know where to go if you want the extra 15m songs.
How does it sound?
TIDAL wins again with its impressive 1.4mbps, beating the other two 256kbps and 320kbps. Bare in mind these are all the maximum streaming qualities. The figure for Spotify is the 'High Setting' for the paid subscribers. Apple Music is 256kbps which is its higher quality. It's clear to see which is better if you are a music junkie.
All things considered, each service offers features exclusive to them. Spotify is renowned for its algorithmic way of recommending songs, TIDAL is renowned for the sound quality and the exclusive albums that some artists follow or even exclusive live streams.
If you are seriously into your music and have not really considered TIDAL before, give it a shot.
This is a compilation of my professional work. These articles will vary by institution which I will spell out at the end of the article. Where I can, I will add a URL to the original article. If not, I'll just link the website.