Spotify vs TIDAL vs Google Play Music

TL;DR

  • Tidal is merging its HiFi and HiFi Plus plans into a single, cheaper tier that offers all previous perks, except for the DJ integration feature.
  • A subscription to the service will now cost $10.99 per month.
  • Tidal is discontinuing military/first responder discounts and the free tier.

Despite the initial hype surrounding it, lossless music streaming failed to garner the traction it was once billed to do. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tidal, the high-fidelity music streaming service, is revamping its subscription plans, making them more affordable.

The company announced that starting on April 10th, Tidal’s existing HiFi and HiFi Plus tiers will merge into a single subscription tier called “Tidal.” This new, streamlined option will offer everything that was previously included in the Plus tier, including high-resolution FLAC files and Dolby Atmos support, all for a price of $10.99 per month.

For context, the current Hi-Fi subscription tier offered high-quality 16-bit audio streaming for $10.99/month, while the HiFi Plus tier, costing $19.99/month, provided access to the highest possible audio streaming up to 24-bit, 192 kHz, including HiRes FLAC files and support for Dolby Atmos.

This change brings Tidal’s pricing in line with competitors like Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, which already offer lossless audio as part of their standard subscriptions at the same price point. However, Tidal’s new structure has some caveats.

Existing HiFi Plus users will be automatically switched to the new, cheaper Tidal tier. However, HiFi Plus subscribers who have used the app’s DJ integration feature within the past 90 days will be charged an additional $9 every month. To avoid this extra charge, users will have to manually remove the DJ add-on from their plan.

With this move, Tidal might be trying to preempt Spotify’s potential entry into the high-fidelity audio streaming market and retain its subscriber base. Spotify, despite promising a Hi-Fi tier, has yet to launch such a service.

Furthermore, Tidal is discontinuing its military/first responder discount and free tier. Existing military/first responder subscribers and free tier users will need to upgrade to a paid plan in the coming months to continue using Tidal’s services.

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