I left Spotify for TIDAL – Here’s why…
I’ve been using Spotify for years (since around 2008) but recently decided to quit Spotify and switch to TIDAL – here’s why…
Spotify is the biggest music streaming platform on the planet. It has the most users, is the best known, and has successfully fought off competition from Apple, Google, and Amazon. This is no mean feat considering the power of these three mega-corporations.
As someone who has used Spotify since its launch in 2008, although it was officially launched in 2006, I never thought I would ever leave the platform. It offered everything I wanted from a streaming platform and these days even the smallest bands and artists think with a streaming-first mentality.
But last week, I decided to switch to TIDAL. I have done my due diligence, I have reviewed the PROS and CONS of Spotify and TIDAL, and, in the end, decided to go with TIDAL. Why? As you will see below, the reasons, while simple, are quite compelling. Should you ditch Spotify for TIDAL? I have no idea; it all depends on your own personal wants and needs.
Here are the main reasons why I left Spotify for TIDAL…
Why I think TIDAL is better than Spotify
The main reason for my decision to switch to TIDAL, of course, is that I now believe it to be a superior music streaming platform. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t have moved. I also watched Apple Music, I use an iPhone, after all, and Apple Music has the most music available from all major streaming platforms – around 90 million songs vs. Spotify and TIDAL 50 million and 60 million, respectively.
Aside from arbitrary numbers, music volume is not a motivating factor for me. The difference between 90 million and 50 million songs – on paper – is huge, but in the grand scheme of things, where you just can’t listen to ALL the music anyway, it becomes kind of a moot point. Not for me, the main reason i switched from Spotify to TIDAL was the sound quality – TIDAL is MUCH better than Spotify, even on its cheapest plan.
Spotify is big, it has a huge amount of users. But for some reason, he never decided that maybe it was time to improve his streaming quality. Spotify uses 320kbps for its streams, while TIDAL – on its cheapest plan – uses the same, but if you opt for its HiFi plan, like I did, you get access lossless CD quality FLAC files at 44.1kHz/16bit. And if you have good headphones or a HiFi at home, that’s a big deal. At least it was for me.
But TIDAL doesn’t stop there. If you want the best possible audio quality, you can opt for its Master Quality Authenticated which will provide 96kHz/24bit audio quality in FLAC or WAV files. Again, for audiophiles, this kind of sound quality is exactly what streaming platforms have been missing since day one. If you demand the best possible audio quality, TIDAL has a leg up on Spotify.
TIDAL pays its artists more
If you listen to smaller, more underground bands and follow them on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that most have day jobs – music, especially if you’re not a household name, doesn’t pay well. Spotify is notorious for paying its artists a pittance. But TIDAL is different; it pays artists more per stream and it also has initiatives in place to promote up-and-coming new bands and artists.
Spotify does it too, to some extent, through its algorithm, but TIDAL’s approach with TIDAL Rising is more like real, organic, grassroots word-of-mouth promotion like we had in the 1990s. , if an artist is part of TIDAL Rising, TIDAL will help them get free photoshops and help them organize and promote upcoming tours and shows – that’s pretty cool.
Does all of this count?
I think so; you are free to disagree, of course. I like the fact that I can listen to music online in CD quality. I love that my subscription goes to paying the artists and bands I love more money per stream, and I love that TIDAL is interested in helping smaller, more underground bands and artists gain exposure. These are all good things.
So, to recap: I switched from Spotify to TIDAL for the following reasons:
- TIDAL streams music in much better qualityeven on its cheapest plan, TIDAL’s audio quality is better than Spotify’s.
- TIDAL pays its artists more. I’m a big fan of underground and niche music, so I like knowing that my subscription fee is actually helping smaller, lesser-known bands to continue what they’re doing.
- TIDAL has more music than Spotify. As of this writing, TIDAL has about 60 million tracks, while Spotify has 50 million. If you want as much music as possible, you’ll need to use Apple Music – it has 90 million songs.
- TIDE actively promotes and supports emerging artists. This, again, is a big deal for me. It’s nearly impossible for new bands and artists to make a name for themselves these days. There are so many new artists and groups. TIDAL Rising ensures that the best of the best get the exposure they deserve.
If all of this resonates with you, I advise you to do the same.
Richard Goodwin has worked as a technical journalist for over 10 years. He is the publisher and owner of KnowYourMobile.