Tidal Music vs Spotify Music: Which is the Better Music Streaming Service?

Music audiophiles and enthusiasts will agree with me on how music consumption has evolved over the past 20 years. From cassettes to CDs AND DVDs, from CDs to USBs, and from USBs to online music streaming apps like Spotify, Tidal, Soundcloud, Youtube, Joox, Pandora, Amazon, and Apple Music, and the list goes on… The current music streaming service era has entirely revamped and revolutionized the experience for music lovers. 

Gone are the days when music enthusiasts had to flick on their PCs or DVDs to play songs. Nowadays music consumption is just a few clicks away. However, in parallel to all the revolutions, these music apps brought their free and premium versions. The free versions hindered the flow with ads, various restrictions, and availability when online while the premium versions had a price tag.

These premium versions laid the foundation for music streaming apps competing with each other on the features they offer. Tidal Music vs Spotify is another essential debate when we talk about music streaming services and their premium features. Spotify, which has evolved significantly over the past 10 years, is a market leader in the music streaming industry. However, Tidal, which launched a few years later than Spotify, has taken over the music giant with its features like video content, lossless sound quality, and hi-res streaming. 

So, the post below is a detailed comparison of both these music giants. This debate is a tricky one, however, you will get to learn incredible facts about the two music giants that will change the way you have known these apps for years. It is, hence, worth reading!!

Which is better? Quick Answer

  • Tidal uses a FLAC format that provides high-quality lossless audio streaming.
  • Spotify works on AAC lossy format that will save you data while music streaming online but compromise on the quality of audio.
  • True music enthusiasts have considerably exhibited their interest in Tidal music. 

What is Tidal?

Belonging to a Norwegian American origin by Aspiro, a Swedish public company, launched in the year 2014, Tidal has become a fan-centred platform for music lovers with over 100 million tracks in its music library having an edge for its HiFi lossless audio streaming quality. 

The only thing special about Tidal is that the Tidal music streaming service uses FLAC quality audio which is a lossless audio stream that is higher than standard audio quality used in MP3 or other compressed audio streams. 

Tidal user interface

What is Spotify?

Spotify is a Sweden-based music streaming service that launched its operations back in 2006. Spotify has evolved in the music streaming industry with its guerilla marketing tactics, carving out its user chunk by providing an edge over a lot of features that its then competitors were providing.

Music discovery, AI DJ, device connectivity, and music streaming on the backend while you multitask on your phone are some of the very salient features of Spotify that give it the edge that the competitors have not.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Pricing plans

Pricing is one of the significant factors (though not the decisive one) when you need to decide between Spotify and Tidal. After all, you should be aware of the bucks you need to pay for the service. Below is the pricing plan comparison for Spotify and Tidal.

Spotify offers a free and a premium plan. The premium plans range from $5.99/month for students to $15.99 for families of up to 6 members. Tidal, on the other hand, has two premium plans. 

The Tidal HiFi music costs $9.99 – $14.99 for individuals and offers a lossless audio format and other premium features. The Tidal HiFi Plus price ranges from $15.99/month to $29.99/month. This Tidal subscription plan offers all the premium features that the Tidal HiFi offers along with Sony 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos Music.

Both Spotify and Tidal have family pricing plans that allow adding up to 6 persons within one account. In terms of pricing, Tidal has an edge for providing 9216 kbps high-resolution music streaming in Lossless format at a price where Spotify offers just 320 kbps sound quality in lossy format. Tidal, therefore, has an edge for providing much better features at the same price as Spotify.

Besides the given pricing plans, Tidal has a military premium plan while Spotify gives a highly discounted plan for students. You may also read about Spotify vs Deezer pricing plans.

Tidal HiFi
Tidal HiFi Plus

Tidal Music vs Spotify: FEATURES

When it comes to premium features, Spotify and Tidal both have been delivering their best. It is trickier to decide which service provides better features than the other. Spotify is known for its extensive music library with versatile nature of content from music to podcasts. Other features like video content, lyrics, and artist background are salient Spotify claims.

However, Tidal has an edge over Spotify when it comes to features. The Tidal music streaming service priced at $9.99 a month, offers HiFi audio, movies, Direct artist payouts, podcasts, and audio-visual content giving it an edge over Spotify.

Read more about Spotify vs SoundCloud features to know which one is the best.

spotify icon


1. Free version available
2. Lower Quality Audio as compared to other music streaming services.
3. Video Content available
4. Song Lyrics available
5. Podcasts included in the library.
6. AI DJ available

Tidal icon


1. Free Version available only in the United States.
2. High-Resolution Audio (MQA)
3. Video content available.
4. Song Lyrics available.
5. Podcasts are also included in Tidal.
6. No AI DJ.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Content

Content is the king. It is what the user intends. Despite all the features that a service ought to provide, if the user doesn’t find the desired content, the service is a big failure. Spotify and Tidal understand this theory and provide users with over 85 Million tracks in their music library.

Tidal has high-resolution tracks with its 360 reality audio and Dolby Atmos technologies. Spotify has over 5 Million podcasts besides its huge music library. Hence, both platforms offer unmatched content that gives them an edge over many other music streaming services available on the Play Store. Also, read about Spotify vs YouTube music content.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Sound Quality

When it comes to Spotify vs Tidal quality, Tidal’s service has been extraordinary. Tidal music service offers four audio qualities ranging from Normal, high, HiFi, and Tidal MQA (Master Quality Authenticated).

  • The normal sound quality delivers 96 kbps and is suitable for users who intend to save data while on mobile internet.
  • The high streaming quality delivers 320 kbps with AAC format which is a lossy audio streaming quality similar to Spotify
  • HiFi setting delivers 1411 kbps FLAC lossless format providing high-quality audio.
  • The HiFi Plus audio settings also called MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) deliver 9216 kbps called master bitrate which is an artist-authenticated format. However, not all tracks on Todal are available in this MQA format.

Spotify, on the other hand, offers AAC lossy format delivering up to 320 kbps audio streaming quality which is vital for saving data usage over the internet. Lately, Spotify has announced launching its HiFi audio setting with lossless format which intends to provide CD-quality audio but is still to release. So, in terms of Audio Quality, Tidal Music has an edge over Spotify. Read more about Spotify’s comparison with Apple Music in terms of sound quality.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Music Discovery

Did you know how different products and services around the globe have evolved from being a standard for all to customize based on user preferences and interests? Music streaming services are no exception. Unlike the old times when music was just played in a specific order, the recent customization is based on the user’s previous listening history.

Spotify, being the music giant, has a Music Discovery feature that is available on the platform as Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Daily Mix. The feature works on recording a user’s listening history, preferences, and interests and curates a playlist accordingly. Tidal, too, has grabbed the opportunity by providing a similar feature as “My Mix”. However, Spotify’s music discovery feature works on algorithms that no other service has been able to replicate. Hence, in terms of music discovery, Spotify remains the king.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: User Interface

Have you ever heard how a first impression creates an impact? User Interface does the same to your website, app, or blog. It influences how people interact with your service and achieve their desired intent. 

Spotify and Tidal both are top music streaming services that have stood out over the years for their intuitive user interface. Spotify has an easy-to-navigate interface with easy-to-navigate and customizable home screen. Tidal has a modern interface equally easier to navigate through.

Both the services have dark them with White text to be attractive for the eyes. Spotify has the Your Library section while Tidal has the My Collection button that lets you filter the desired content by artists, playlists, and albums you are looking for. Find out about the best user interface and read about Spotify vs Deezer.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Social sharing

It is a human natural urge to share information, findings, and entertainment with their social circle. Music streaming services have very well catered to this need by introducing social sharing features embedded within their service.

Spotify, the music giant has gone a bit too far catering to social sharing of music and podcasts. 

  • Spotify lets you host listening parties where you and your social circle can collaborate and listen to the same music at a time. 
  • The Spotify music streaming service also lets you create and share “Collaborative playlists”. 
  • You can also share your playlists on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Spotify lets you share a unique Spotify code of a specific playlist or song with your friends directly over email or WhatsApp messenger.

On the contrary, Tidal has limited music-sharing options. However, Tidal has a “Tidal Connect” feature that lets users share music with social circles. One Tidal user can follow friends on the Tidal app to access their publicly available playlists.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Device support 

In a world where music is an integral part of our daily lives, the need for device support and compatibility goes beyond mere convenience. It is about creating a tailored experience for users. Imagine that you can use the music streaming app on your phone and play music while transitioning between smartphones, car speakers, PC web players, tablets, and gaming consoles. 

Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect are two features that both the music streaming services offer. No matter if you are using an iPhone or an Android or any other gadget. Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect make sure your music experience is always on point. Tidal, however, lacks on some devices while Spotify rules the device support feature.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Support for Artists

Spotify and Tidal both support artists by paying them for the music people listen to. They have pay-per-stream criteria for artists. 

Spotify pays artists based on a complex formula, but on average it is around $0.003 – $0.005 per stream. So for a song getting 1000 streams, the artist gets $3-$5 per 1000 streams.

Tidal direct artist payout is more than Spotify’s. The pay per stream is around $0.0125 on average. So if a song gets a thousand streams, the artist will earn $12.50.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Additional features

Apart from so many features listed above, Spotify and Tidal compete on various other features that cannot be ignored anyhow.


  • Sleep timer embedded
  • Allows streaming while using Waze and Google Maps.
  • Language model that understands misspelled songs.
  • Spotify is available in 178 countries.
  • Spotify gives limited song information
Tidal icon

Tidal Music

  • No sleep timer
  • Does not support Google Maps but Waze.
  • Tidal doesn’t have a strong language model.
  • Tidal is available in lesser countries 
  • Tidal gives detailed song descriptions.

Tidal or Spotify: My personal opinion

In my personal opinion, Spotify and Tidal have a neck-to-neck tie. If you are a hardcore music fan and don’t compromise on stream quality, then Tidal is your best friend. If you are trying to save internet data and still listen to incredible content, then Spotify is your go-to service. 

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Yes, in terms of audio quality, Tidal is better than Spotify providing a lossless audio streaming format for a high-quality listening experience. Besides, Tidal also has an edge over Spotify in terms of Content. These two features are enough to give Tidal an edge over Spotify.

Yes, Tidal HiFi Plus offers FLAC lossless audio format which makes it the highest quality streaming service and sounds much better than Spotify.

Yes, Tidal also offers podcasts but not as extensively as Spotify does.

Yes, the Spotify Wrapped alternative for Today is known as “My 2022(year) Rewind”. It highlights all your most listened-to playlists and artists for the entire year. It is a yearly recap of tracks listened to, provided by Tidal. 

Yes, Tidal pays approximately $0.0125 per stream to artists which is higher than Spotify’s pay per stream.

Tidal Music vs Spotify: Who is better?

To Wrap it all up, Spotify and Tidal have a neck-to-neck tie. If you are a hardcore music fan and don’t compromise on stream quality, then Tidal is your best friend. If you are trying to save internet data and still listen to incredible content, then Spotify is your go-to service. 

Spotify which is known for its extensive user base, music discovery, and smart algorithms has been an unsung hero in the music streaming industry. Tidal which launched its operations much later has also managed to compete with Spotify and upscaled its worth and today is edge to edge with Spotify. However, the spotify vs Tidal debate is a TIE.

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