Jay-Z is one of the most notorious and successful music moguls in the world. With profitable business ventures in fashion, spirits, and film, it seemed like Jay-Z couldn’t miss as he morphed into a successful entrepreneur. In March of 2015, Jay-Z launched Tidal, a music streaming service that proclaimed to be the first stream owned completely by musicians. With a mass marketing campaign featuring commercials with some of our generation’s biggest names at a round table discussion, Tidal appeared to be the next big thing; boy were we wrong.
Upon its initial release, Tidal skyrocketed to number twenty in the top Apps list on iTunes. Unfortunately, two weeks later it fell to the “toilet zone” ranking in below 700 on the app charts. Tidal seemed like it would become a forgotten and failed business venture until it received help from the likes of Rihanna and Kanye West. To the disappointment of many, both of these artists decided to release their newest projects exclusively on the Tidal streaming service. I, being a dedicated fan of Yeezy, was thus forced to sign up for Tidal’s free month subscription. This was mainly because watching Kanye’s live stream of the album was no longer satisfying and an actual way purchasing of the album no longer exist. So after playing around with the app for a few days, I decided to write an honest review of the service.
The Good: Whelp, there’s music…and Prince
Tidal offers a wide selection of music genres ranging from Pop to Alternative. Like its competitors, Spotify and Apple Music, Tidal has premade playlist, sections to discover new music, and a radio feature. Allegedly, famous musicians like Beyoncé or Coldplay created some of the playlist on the streaming service for fans to enjoy. Tidal is unique in the sense that it combines other forms of media into its streaming service. Tidal offers “exclusive” streaming of music videos that you could probably also find “exclusively” on YouTube and has a news update section where you can read music related articles and reviews. Moreover, it is also one of the only places where you can listen to Prince’s Purple Rain EP. Unfortunately, not even Prince himself could convince me to pay for this service.
The Bad: Hi-Fi
Tidal has little to offer that other streaming services don’t already have, which makes it hard to choose its service over already established streams. Tidal claims to offer the best sounding music on the Internet with its High Fidelity stream. They boast that their service has a more information dense stream that features lossless compressed audio. What does all this mean? I have no clue, but apparently the music should sound better on Tidal than any other music service. However, this is not true at all. Tidal’s saving grace honestly, to the average listener, does not make a significant difference at all. Additionally, to hear the difference in audio quality you need to own high quality speakers or headphones, something most people don’t readily have available. I for one will gladly listen to uncompressed music on Spotify for free.
The Ugly: The App’s functionality
Us millennials love to multi task no matter how many grumpy old people try to tell us it’s impossible; Tidal makes this refined skill nearly impossible. Whenever I open another app, Twitter especially, I often have disruptions in my music streaming. Tidal won’t allow me to read Kanye tweets while listening to Kanye rap about how much he loves Kanye, which is honestly all I ever wanted in life.