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Tidal is the streaming service launched by Jay-Z in 2015 that is changing the digital music distribution landscape for artists. With the goal of offering a more sustainable and fair platform for online streaming, Tidal is ranked as the second most fair app. The site pays artists $0.0125 per stream compared to Youtube’s $0.00069 per stream and Spotify’s $0.00437 per stream.

Now majority-owned by Jack Dorsey’s Square, the service has announced that it has launched a free, ad-sponsored tier. Meaning, the platform can compete more effectively with streaming giants Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube.

Tidal Press Image

Tidal © Thomas Trutschel

Currently, the new tier is exclusive to the US. However, it’s expected to become available in the UK and worldwide eventually.

With the shift to ad-sponsored streaming on Tidal also comes a new paid plan and changes to the pre-existing standard plan. The standard plan, which costs £9.99 per month, now offers improved music quality and access to offline capabilities and features like ‘Tidal Connect’, while the new third tier offers Tidal’s highest audio quality and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) recordings.

The platform will also be introducing a new initiative to provide payments directly to artists. The feature will give artists access to an additional revenue stream from their highest listeners. Every month, a portion of each HiFi Plus user’s subscription fee will be paid to their top streamed artist.


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