Tidal vs. Spotify: The Streaming Rivalry

A few weeks ago, Jay Z, one of the more influential people in the world of modern music, made his new music streaming service, Tidal,  available for public use. Ever since its release, there have been mixed thoughts on how Tidal compares to Spotify, a similar service that has pretty much been at the top of music straming industry up until now  Some believe that Tidal is quickly going to claim the top spot while others believe that it is very unlikely. It all depends on the person, so lets see where the 2 stack up in regards to function and practicality.

Spotify, is a Swedish music streaming service that quickly rose to prominence upon its establishment in 2006. You can think of Spotify as a Soundcloud with less of a  social purpose for its users. Its main revenue source comes from its user subscriptions, with a Spotify premium account starting at 9.99$ fee per month. However to use Spotify, a premium account is not required. A Spotify Open account is free for anyone who wishes to use it however, a premium account would give full access to all the utilities that Spotify has to offer.


Tidal, Spotify’s newly found competitor,  has received praise from many well known artists over the past few weeks, such as Rihanna and J.Cole to name a few. Tidal has a free trial that gives its users a taste of what they may possibly invest their hard earned money on. To use Tidal, its users must pay a fee of $19.99 monthly.


As a Vietnam resident, both Spotify’s and Tidal’s biggest downfall is it’s unavailability to people outside the US. It’s a shame because these streaming services would provide a much better alternative to downloading music illegally and taking a chance at being put behind bars for a long time (well theoreticlly anyway…). For Spotify , however, an account can be created in a country that provides its uses and still be used in Vietnam. Unsurprisingly, Tidal has said that they are working to get their streaming service to as many countries as they can. At Tidal’s opening ceremony, Jay-Z and many other well known artists promised that Tidal would deliver a crisp, high quality sound to its users, hence its signature catch phrase “High Fidelity Music Streaming”. This is another advantage that Tidal has on Spotify, as almost anyone would be more attracted to better sounding music. However, Tidal’s subscription fee adds up to a price of $19.99 per month, just a little more than twice the amount for Spotify’s premium subscription fee. This is where Spotify beats out Tidal. The only people willing to pay that high of a fee for better sounding music are bass heads and those who have that kind of money in their pocket to throw away. The majority of consumers would rather save $10 dollars a month on Spotify, despite its lower quality music in comparison to Tidal, and spend it on a few extra packets of their favourite snack. Spotify’s library is also much larger than Tidal’s, but then again that will probably change with time as Tidal seals off deals with more artists in hopes of having a wider variety of music to choose from.

To conclude, I would say that Spotify is a better option for your needs, as a premium account costs less despite lacking sound quality in comparison to that of Tidal’s. As of right now, Tidal cannot be accessed by Vietnamese residents, however Spotify users can use accounts made in other countries while they are in Vietnam .



BillboardBi. “Tidal.” Billboard.com. Billboard, Mar. 2015. Web. 25 May 2015.