Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal? The deal with music sharing

As if there wasn’t enough choice already in the world, now music sharing has entered the competitive digital marketplace screaming at us to love their music streaming app because they’re more special than the others, while charging us for the privilege.

I mean iTunes was great once apon a time, but after syncing every time you wanted a song, we grew distant.

Then along came Spotify, and after working out what the hell was going on with the endless menus and what offline mode meant, we were best buddies. Now Apple Music has launched and looks like iTunes has changed it’s wardrobe, had a hair cut and sorted out it’s boundary issues. On the surface.

Then there’s Tidal which if I’m honest I know nothing about apart from it’s linked to Jay Z after he bought it.

This led me to look up just what exactly the deal was and if it’s worth jumping ship.

What are the differences and how much will they cost?

Apple Music

Cost: £9.99 per month

Apple music offers a 3 month free trial to all of it’s new subscribers which is handy. It boasts around 30 million tracks, (about the same as Spotify) and a slightly confusing interface at first but has a few handy features and a very helpful radio service, a bit more refined than Spotify. The only major artist you’ll currently find here you won’t find anywhere else is Taylor Swift. Are you that bothered? Didn’t think so.

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Spotify

Cost: Free with adverts every 30 mins / £9.99 per month for premium ad free service

Spotify currently has the momentum in the music streaming world. Currently boasting 60 million subscribers in total, 15 million to the premium service, it’s clear the majority of people are happy with the service and the various updates to the interface and the options available have shown this. A recent addition from consumer feedback is the running playlist that matches your running BPM and plays songs based on your pace. Sounds like a gimmick but actually really helpful in the health/tech obsessed world we live in. Nothing worse than trying to change tracks while sweating profusely and trying not to get hit at a zebra crossing by a Prius *Damn you Uber*. Very helpful and actually very easy system to use.

Only a handful of artists that you can’t get access to, Swift included, but a lot of small up and coming artists that are worked into their Radio option very well under categories which I think look better than Apple’s version (comparison below).

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Tidal

Cost: £9.99 for Premium (Standard sound quality. High definition music videos) £19.99 for HiFi (Super high definition sound quality)

It was acquired in March 2015 by super entrepreneur / rapper Jay Z. The biggest draw for this service is it’s video content, something that services like Vevo has taken by storm and something called “Hi-Fi” sound. The quality of the music surpasses that of its competitors Spotify & Apple music which offer a lower standard sound to increase the speed of which you hear the streamed file. Tidal uses a file type (getting a bit geeky here…) called FLAC which doesn’t lower quality sound or picture when retrieved on the user end.


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Called a ‘Lossless’ file, it’s able to recover all the data from their compressed files, meaning no loss in quality in the stream. It calls itself “the world’s first artist-owned streaming service” which leads to content being exclusively created for the service by high profile artists and exclusive content. Only spotify currently have something like this but ‘Spotify Session’ content is no where as detailed as what Tidal is boasting to have available in the coming months. 25 million tracks and 75,000 high-definition music videos, looks like the luxury of the group but worth it for the true music heads that prefer music quality over popularity (sound snobs…).

My Verdict

Tidal does really sounds interesting to me especially with the exclusive content it promises to offer. Apple music just doesn’t seem to cut it for me. Think i’ll be sticking to using Spotify, but I won’t be surprised if Apple change rules or eventually stop supporting rival apps on their devices. Just sounds like the kind of global domination plan Apple would do. Let someone else have a slice of the pie apple, stop being greedy.*

*At time of typing I own 2 iPhones

Video in the header courtesy of Hot Chocolate Party.

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