Tidal vs Spotify - Which One is Better? 2020 Review

November 19, 2020

When you think of a music streaming service, you may immediately think of Spotify, but there are more options out there! The app stores are filled to the brim with interesting solutions for audio lovers. Over the years, the range of music apps has increased significantly, and now you can choose from services such as Apple Music, Napster, and TIDAL. In this article, we'll focus on the TIDAL vs Spotify comparison. Which one has the best audio quality? How many songs are there on TIDAL? Read this article to find out!

What is Spotify

Spotify was founded in 2006, and so far, it has attracted about 140 million total users and 70 million paying subscribers. With these numbers, this company can call itself the world's most popular music service. With a premium subscription of $9.99 per month, you can listen to more than 40 million songs ad-free.

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Devices and functionality

Because Spotify is the most popular streaming service, you can use it on many devices. There's a dedicated app for smartphones and a special version for desktops and laptops, but you can also listen to your favorite music in the browser. Via Spotify Connect, you can link the app with many smart TVs, network receivers, and multiroom speakers. Spotify Premium users can enjoy their favorite songs without advertisements and save playlists offline. This feature makes it possible to listen to music without having to use the Internet. Also, ads in the free version are louder than the music, making it downright distracting.

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Quality and offer

Premium members can listen to music via Spotify with a maximum bitrate of 320kbit/s. This is fine for the average user, but the compression will be audible for owners of high-end speakers or headphones. The music sounds slightly less energetic than, for example, audio from a CD.

However, Spotify's offer is excellent. Currently, Spotify's library has more than 30 million songs! Virtually all music genres can be found effortlessly. Even artists like Pink Floyd, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, or Taylor Swift, who previously refused to cooperate with Spotify, are now available.

Spotify quality

Spotify for families and students

What is more, Spotify offers a family subscription for up to five people at $14.99 per month. Students can turn on a premium subscription for just $4.99 per month.

What is TIDAL

TIDAL entered the market in 2014 with a lot of fanfare. The streaming service, currently owned by Jay-Z, is taking on rivals like Spotify and Apple Music. TIDAL vs Spotify - which one is better? The special about Tidal is that it was developed with the collaboration of great artists such as Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, and Madonna.

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How much is TIDAL?

TIDAL is available in a paid subscription only, and thus, it delivers a high percentage of the subscription price to the artists. At the moment, TIDAL is the only service that offers lossless streams in CD quality (Flac format) for all devices. TIDAL HiFi costs $19.99 per month instead of $9.99 for regular quality.

Tidal Offer comparison

Devices and functionality

Even though TIDAL has only about 850,000 subscribers, the service is fairly well developed. There are apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. TIDAL is also available in the browser. At the moment, TIDAL is not yet available for smart TVs.

Quality and offer

Tidal is one of the only platforms that offers HiFi sound. TIDAL HiFi uses FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format which provides almost a CD quality in its purest form! But there's even more good news for audio fanatics. The desktop version features the category 'Masters', which contains a collection of more than 30,000 songs with quality of 24-bit / 96kHz. However, to enjoy it, you must subscribe to TIDAL HiFi.

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology offers a limitless digital music compression, thanks to which Tidal guarantees authentic sound quality. The music sounds exactly as it was recorded in the studio. With Tidal, music lovers can enjoy an authentic audio experience!

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With a collection of 40 million songs, TIDAL's offer is large enough for average users. The music service is filled with a multitude of diverse artists. There are also music videos available. Besides, some music videos can be seen exclusively on TIDAL, such as Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade and some miniseries from artists such as Damian Marley and Fat Joe.

TIDAL Family

In addition to standard subscriptions, the streaming service also has some special packages. For example, students can get a 50% discount on a subscription and there is also a family package (up to a maximum of 5 users), which costs 50% of the normal price. For example, a family account with 3 HiFi subscriptions costs $39.98 per month instead of $59.97.

Dolby Atmos Music

Many people know Dolby Atmos from movies, but there's also a version for music. It's currently difficult to find songs with Dolby Atmos quality, but the Jay-Z streaming service wants to change this. TIDAL has partnered with Dolby and intends to add Dolby Atmos' signature music to its collection. Thus, several artists plan to release their songs in this 3D audio format exclusively on Tidal. Dolby has also signed a deal with Warner Music and Universal Music.

Tidal vs Spotify - comparison

Competition in the music streaming services market is very high. This can make it challenging to choose the app that suits you. What are the best music streaming services? Both Spotify and Tidal claim to contain around 60 million titles. However, in terms of musical genres, TIDAL is clearly oriented towards American Rap and Hip-Hop. Spotify, on the other hand, seems to have a catalog with more varied distribution of genres. A significant advantage of Spotify over Tidal is a wide selection of podcasts. The app offers over one million of them!

Tidal vs Spotify - music discovery and interface

If you want to discover new songs, both Tidal and Spotify offer various search features.

For example, you can divide music by genres (rock, pop, country) or search new tracks regarding your moods or activities (relax, workout, party). There's also a radio feature, an excellent solution if you want to listen to songs similar to your favorite ones. What is more, both apps can suggest new artists and tracks based on your preferences. The mobile and web interfaces of both apps are quite similar. Playlists are divided into categories such as pop, rock, indie, etc. There are also images for new releases, Top 100, etc.

Tidal vs Spotify - Sound quality

Spotify offers three levels of quality: Normal, High, and Very High. Sound quality can also adapt automatically to the network's quality (or data transfer) to avoid disconnections.

In a classic subscription, TIDAL only offers the Normal and Superior qualities. It doesn't feature an automatic quality adjusting option. If you switch to the TIDAL HiFi subscription, you have two additional qualities: HiFi and Master.

Tidal vs Spotify - Integration

TIDAL doesn't offer an integration with existing audio systems. It requires going through Bluetooth or Airplay. Spotify, on the other hand, offers easy integration via Spotify Connect. This service can be used on various audio devices, and it allows you to play whole playlists directly through the amplifier or portable speaker.

Transfer of Playlists

If you don't know if you prefer TIDAL or Spotify, you can perform a simple test. All you'll have to do is to compare these both platforms. How? The best option is to transfer playlists between these services. You can do it via the FreeYourMusic app. It will give you the possibility to transfer your favorite songs from Spotify to Tidal or from Tidal to Spotify quickly and easily.

To sum up

As you can see, both Tidal and Spotify have their advantages and drawbacks. Would you prefer Spotify because of its free version and extensive device support? Or maybe you consider TIDAL better than Spotify because of its HiFi subscription? The real music fan may prefer to enjoy the hi-res quality of TIDAL. The choice is yours!

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