A lot of changes are coming to the popular lossless streaming service in an attempt to expand its user base. This comes with even more news about the way Tidal will now be handling artist royalties and their new “direct-to-artist” payment plan.
Starting with the free tier, you now have access to an ad-supported version of Tidal’s library. Aside from the ads, the one major downside is the fact that lossless streaming will not be supported here, only reaching 160kbps, which is the same as Spotify’s free tier on mobile.
With Apple Music forcing Tidal’s hand in a way when they announced lossless streaming at no additional cost, they pretty much didn’t have a choice but to follow suit. If you want to go right into experiencing Tidal’s expansive library in lossless, you can now do that for only $9.99 a month. This tier gives you a streaming quality comparable to Redbook CD-quality audio in 16bit/44.1kHz (1411kpbs). While many of Tidal’s premium features are reserved for their HiFi Plus tier, offline downloads and Tidal connect are still included. Those who’ve wanted to try Tidal in lossless now have a better entry-level price to experience their selection.
Those who want their MQA and spatial audio streaming are going to want to go with HiFi Plus. This tier gives you access to those master quality tracks, as well as immersive sound formats, which include Sony’s 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos. If you already are an original Tidal HiFi member, you will be automatically upgraded to HiFi Plus with no extra charge. Those looking to become a subscriber can do so now for $19.99 a month.
Tidal’s service was originally announced to be more friendly to the artists they stream, so with this new subscription plan, artists will be accommodated accordingly. Their direct-to-artist initiative will make sure 10% of your HiFi Plus subscription goes directly to your top streamed artists in addition to streaming royalties. They’re looking to expand this plan in 2022 with “fan-centered royalties.” This new model will attribute all royalties of HiFi Plus subscribers to actual streaming activity rather than an aggregate.
With Tidal stacking up its competition with Amazon and Apple Music, it brings into question what Spotify’s play here is, as they are now significantly behind in current audio streaming trends. It’s been many months since Spotify announced they were going lossless, and that it will be available by the end of the year. Since then there’s been no word on when a HiFi plan would be released.
Keep up with MajorHiFi for more news on the latest in music streaming.