TIDAL announces a free tier, direct artist payouts, fan-centered royalties

TIDAL announces a free tier, direct artist payouts, fan-centered royalties

Music streaming services have been busy at work lately. Spotify started allowing users to block others last week, while Apple Music now lets you search inside playlists if you’re on iOS 15.2 beta 3. Today TIDAL announced some new changes coming to US-based users. Most notably, the company has launched a free tier with access to the entire catalog of 80 million+ songs. Artists will also be earning more revenue, thanks to direct artist payouts and fan-centered royalties. Users in the region will now have three different plans to choose from. Each of the plans comes with its own perks that match its price tag.

In a Twitter thread, TIDAL shared that it now has three plans in the US — Free, HiFi, and HiFi Plus. The free tier requires no bank card and — expectedly — includes ad interruptions. This tier limits audio quality to 160kbps, which TIDAL marks as “Good”. Users on this plan will be able to stream expert-curated playlists, too.

The HiFi tier is priced at $9.99 per month, and it includes a better audio quality of 1411kbps. That’s in addition to ad-free streaming with unlimited skips, downloads for offline listening, and streaming data report. HiFi Plus takes it to the next level with a 9216kbps audio quality, artist payment reports, fan-centered royalties, and direct artist payouts. Those are bundled with the HiFi tier’s perks — obviously — for $19.99 a month.

Direct artist payouts “allocate 10% of monthly subscriptions at the HiFi Plus tier to each listener’s most streamed artist,” explains the company. “Artists can now benefit directly from their biggest fans on TIDAL.” And with fan-centered royalties, artists will earn significantly higher per-play rates.

What music streaming service do you use, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.