I’ve been using Spotify for years (since around 2008) but I recently decided to quit Spotify and move to TIDAL – here’s why…
Spotify is the biggest music streaming platform on the planet. It has the most users, is the most well-known, and has successfully fought off competition from both Apple, Google, and Amazon. No mean feat when you consider the power of those three mega-corporations.
As someone that has used Spotify ever since it launched, way back in 2008, although it officially launched in 2006, I didn’t think I’d ever leave the platform. It offered everything I wanted from a streaming platform and nowadays, even the smallest bands and artists think with a streaming-first mentality.
But last week, I decided to switch over to TIDAL. I did my due diligence, looked at the PROS and CONS of both Spotify and TIDAL, and, in the end, decided to go with TIDAL. Why? As you’ll see below, the reasons, while not complex, are fairly compelling. Should you ditch Spotify for TIDAL? I have no idea; that’ll all depend on your own personal wants and needs.
Here are the main reasons why I quit Spotify for TIDAL…
Why I Think TIDAL is Better Than Spotify
The main reason behind my decision to move to TIDAL, of course, is because I now believe that it is a superior music streaming platform. If I didn’t think this, I wouldn’t have moved. I also looked at Apple Music too, I use an iPhone, after all, and Apple Music has the most available music of all the major streaming platforms – around 90 million songs versus Spotify and TIDAL’s 50 million and 60 million, respectively.
Arbitrary numbers aside, the sheer volume of music 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 simply cannot listen to ALL the music anyway, it becomes kind of a moot point. No, for me, the main reason I switched from Spotify to TIDAL was sound quality – TIDAL is WAY better than Spotify, even on its cheapest plan.
Spotify is big, it has a huge amount of users. But for whatever reason, it has never decided that it might be time to improve the quality of its streaming. Spotify uses 320kbps for its streams, whereas TIDAL – on its cheapest plan – uses the same, but if you go for its HiFi plan, as I did, you get access to CD-quality lossless FLAC files @ 44.1kHz/16bit. And if you have good headphones or a HiFi system at home, this is a big deal. At least, it was for me.
But TIDAL doesn’t stop there. If you want the absolute best quality audio possible, you can opt for its Master Quality Authenticated which will deliver audio quality at 96kHz/24bit in either FLAC or WAV files. Again, for audiophiles, this kind of sound quality is exactly what has been missing from streaming platforms since day one. If you demand the highest possible quality audio, TIDAL is leagues ahead of Spotify.
TIDAL Pays Its Artists More
If you listen to smaller, more underground bands, and you follow them on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that most have day jobs – music, especially if you’re not a household name, does not 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 new, up-and-coming bands and artists.
Spotify does this too, to an extent, via its algorithm but TIDAL’s approach with TIDAL Rising feels more like actual, organic, grassroots word of mouth promotion, the kind we used to have back in the 1990s. Also, if an artist is part of TIDAL Rising, TIDAL will assist them in getting free photoshops and help them organize and promote tours and upcoming shows – that’s pretty cool.
Does Any of This Matter?
I think it does; you’re free to disagree, of course. I like the fact that I can listen to music online in CD-quality. I like that my subscription goes towards paying the artists and bands I like more money per stream, and I like that TIDAL is interested in helping smaller, more underground bands and artists get exposure. These are all good things.
So, to recap: I switched from Spotify to TIDAL for the following reasons:
- TIDAL streams music in much higher quality, even on its cheapest plan TIDAL’s audio quality is better than Spotify’s.
- TIDAL pays its artists more. I like a lot of underground, niche music so I like to know that my subscription fees are actually helping smaller, less well-known bands continue what they’re doing.
- TIDAL has more music than Spotify. At the time of writing this piece, TIDAL has around 60 million tracks, while Spotify has 50 million. If you want the most possible music, however, you’ll need to go with Apple Music – it has 90 million songs.
- TIDAL actively promotes and helps upcoming artists. This, again, is a big deal for me. It is next to impossible for new bands and artists to make a name for themselves these days. There are just so many new artists and bands out there. TIDAL Rising ensures the best of the best get the exposure they deserve.
If any of that resonates with you, I’d suggest you do the same.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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