Tidal vs Spotify. Which one will you Love?

Spotify and Tidal are two of the most popular music platforms. To help you choose, we present the result of the final dispute between Tidal vs Spotify.
Tidal vs Spotify blog post thumbnail

Music. It’s the heartbeat of life. Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in the middle. We all love music. And getting access to the music you love has never been easier. Having a streaming service to help you get the tune you love at any time is beneficial, but the question is, which one to choose?

You can access millions of songs, albums, and sometimes podcasts by signing up for platforms like Spotify, Apple music, or Tidal. But investing in music streaming services takes time and effort. We understand it’s hard to compare these services, such as Apple Music vs. Spotify, or Deezer, another bit name in the market, with Spotify. So, you’ve got to choose the right music streaming platform that works best for you, and we are here to help you in this journey!

We will look at the youngest streaming service among the most popular ones, Tidal, and compare it with the giant in the field, Spotify. And see what differences and similarities there are between the two. So you can make an informed choice when it comes to two of the major streaming services available today.

In a hurry and want to go straight to the point? We got you!

What is the major difference between Tidal and Spotify?

Here is a sum of what we think is the major difference between the two services:

Tidal targets more musicians and audiophiles that love the detail of music and audio production. It offers a high-end sound quality with lossless compression audio streaming. It also gives the musicians and bands you most listen to part of your subscription when paying for the top-tier plan (Hi-Fi Plus). On the other hand, Spotify is more for a broad range of listeners. Has a better social integration for sharing and connecting your music between devices and social media platforms. It has more users worldwide and is available in more than 180 countries. It’s a middle-of-the-road user-friendly music streaming service.

But if you have some time and want to dig more into the major differences and know the nitty-gritty between Tidal and Spotify, keep reading. We will detail significant aspects of the streaming services and show what each one has to offer.

Platform Personalization

What is a curated Playlist? Does Tidal have curated playlists? Is it possible to create my own playlists?

A curated playlist is a playlist that has either been put together by a human or an algorithm. Tidal uses algorithms to see what your listening habits are and what songs have been saved to ‘My Collection.’ Tidal then builds a playlist based on these two factors. This is called ‘My Mix,’ featuring your favorite tracks and adding tracks in similar styles. So, suppose you listen purely to Afrobeat, as an example. In that case, your playlist will be built up of popular and new Afrobeat tracks. Simple.

As you add and remove music or listen to different tunes, the ‘My Mix’ playlists will change. Based on these decisions, Tidal will build up to eight fresh playlists for you to enjoy and listen to. This means you can have a playlist for every day of the week. Especially if you’re a Beatle.

Once you’ve signed up to Tidal, you can start listening to and adding music to your ‘My Collection.’ Tidal will then take a few days to build your custom playlists based on this listening data.

TIDALs playlist dashboard displaying on a smartphone screen.

Does Spotify make personalized playlists?

Spotify player phone image displaying Only & Only song by Bevan 2022

Does Spotify make personalized playlists? Yes, of course. This is one of the top features Spotify offers. You’ll know that discovering new music is a painful process. Spotify’s personalized playlist will use your music listening history and its algorithms to build your playlists of new music. It looks at the artists, genres, and decades you listen to and creates these unique curated Spotify playlists. This is a great way you’ll discover new music.

And that’s not it. The playlists will keep evolving to match what you’re listening to. Without actively searching, you’ll discover new tunes. It’s an actively evolving playlist system. What’s not to love?

User Experience and Interface

How does Tidal’s interface work?

Navigating your way around the platform is really important. Being able to quickly find an album or track instantly is every audiophile’s dream! Tidal recently added a Tidal free version that offers up Tidal’s entire library of a staggering 90 million tracks! (As of 2022). That’s an impossible amount of tracks to think about! 

TIDAL home dashboard on a desktop.

Whether it is intentional or not. Tidal has a similar design and look to Spotify. Black and simple. Spotify users will find Tidal familiar. And vice versa. This makes it easier if you decide to swap between the two. If you’re considering switching streaming services, TuneMyMusic can help you migrate your entire music collection between platforms. But more on that later.

Manage and transfer playlists between music streaming services with no pain. In a matter of seconds you can migrate your entire music library from Spotify to Tidal, or Tidal to Spotify.

Why Spotify is a good UX design

Spotify has it covered when it comes to its interface. The simple design with a black background is clean visually, and user-friendly. Searching for a track or album is straightforward and quick. Just tap on the search tab anywhere you are in the app and type the song or artist you want to listen to. 

Spotify banner 2022 with the interface on a smartphone, a laptop, and a tablet.

Your playlists are on hand easily as well. It’s located at the far left in your ‘Music’ tab. It’s here where you’ll find your playlists. Whether they’re ones you’ve built or ones Spotify has created from your music taste. This experience makes it easy to navigate the Spotify interface. You’ll be finding tracks and creating playlists in no time!

Connectivity Performance

What is the difference between Tidal and Tidal connect?

Standard Tidal works in the normal way, by streaming to your devices.

Whereas Tidal Connect, like Spotify Connect, allows you to pair up to any device through your WiFi and play your Tidal music library through them straight from the cloud. This enables you to not have to stream the music from your device.

How does Spotify Connect work?

Spotify banner showing the connect feature on a smartphone with a room in the background with low lighting.

One of the best features that Spotify offers is Spotify Connect. It expands on Tidal Connect and goes further.

In a nutshell, just like Tidal Connect, it allows you to play your Spotify music through any device connected to your Spotify Account. Any wireless speaker, voice-controlled smart speaker, or soundbar. How cool is that? And, if you’re using your smartphone for Spotify, Spotify Connect streams it directly from its servers rather than your device. So you can make calls, listen to voice messages, or whatever without disrupting the tunes. Friends can quickly log on and play their playlists through your WiFi. Amazing right? It’s a Spotify Premium feature, so you don’t need to sign up for this extra feature. Which is great when you’ve been in charge of the house party’s music.

Social

What social features does Spotify have?

Spotify's social feature banner showing different menus.

Since this is the area where Spotify dominates, we decided to start with them to discuss how music and social media can work great together. So, when it comes to social, Spotify has it nailed. You can sign up for Spotify with your Facebook account, making creating a new account seamless in a matter of seconds. You can also integrate your Spotify account with your Facebook and Twitter profile, which allows you to share with your followers and friends. And vice versa. This social connectivity from Spotify is a great way to share and discover new music.

Does Tidal have social features?

TIDAL's social feature displaying on a smartphone.

Tidal doesn’t have the same social connectivity as Spotify. What you can do with Tidal is share tracks via Instagram and Facebook stories. This opens up the music streaming platform to be present on social media, using Instagram and Facebook stories to advertise the platform and present new music. Although sharing our favorite songs on stories is nice, having only two social media options is not that exciting. It’s a shame, really, because social media is one of the best ways to advertise the platform and something that the folks at Tidal should be exploiting.

Massive Music Library

Spotify banner 2022 displaying multiple smartphones on a diagonal, showing different features.

How Much Music is Available on Tidal?

As of 2022, Tidal boasts 90 million tracks plus 450,000 videos on its music streaming platform. Another streaming service like Apple Music also has 90 million tracks. This is also 8 million more tracks than Spotify. But Tidal only has around 5 million users and is only available in 61 countries at the moment. Increasing their worldwide reach would help increase their user database. With this incredible volume of music and videos, you could easily never listen to the same track twice, if you want. 

How many songs does Spotify have 2022?

Spotify isn’t too far behind, with 82 million tracks in its library as of 2022. Which isn’t as high as what Tidal claims. But what’s 8 million tracks between streaming services? Spotify also has an incredible 406 million users! Furthermore, 30% of its users are based in the US. Another significant remark is that Spotify has 180 million paid users using premium plans. One of the reasons it has such a high user number is that it’s available in 180+ countries. The fact of being so popular also helps Spotify with its social features. For example, it’s pretty easy to share a song with a friend when you know there’s a high probability that that friend also has Spotify premium and can listen to the music without ads and interruption.

Audio Quality

Is Tidal’s sound quality better?

This is where Tidal jumps way ahead of the two. Tidal’s sound quality is far better than Spotify or any other music streaming platform on the market. This is Tidal’s unique selling point. This is what they came to the world for.

It does have lower settings for internet speed, but if you have great Wifi, then Tidal’s HiFi Plus package delivers unrivaled sound quality. Serious sound quality. With a super fast internet speed, you can have sound quality up to 9216 kbps. This features the music formats: Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and HiFi. 

Not only that, but the audio quality is completely lossless. Streaming music has primarily come in a compressed format. MP3 is the most popular. The compressed audio is smaller in file size, but it comes with a price. It loses lows and highs frequencies in the audio, which for some devices and even music, are important audio frequencies, for example, classical music. This process can compromise audio quality and, in some cases, take away your listening pleasure. 

When we talk about lossless, it doesn’t mean that the audio isn’t compressed. It means that no audio detail is lost in the compression process. Resulting in a greater listening experience. Tidal offers even more high-quality than lossless audio. With its MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) certified tracks.

It’s these qualities that give Tidal an absolute edge over Spotify when we talk about audio excellence. And any other music streaming platform, for that matter. For all you music listening-obsessives, Tidal is your cure.

Is Spotify High-Quality Audio?

Depending which Spotify service you have depends on the sound quality that Spotify provides. With the Free option, you get up to approximately 160kbit/s at its highest quality and up to around 320kbit/s with Spotify’s Premium service, which isn’t bad but doesn’t have the same excitement that Tidal brings to the table. But don’t worry. If you are a regular music listener that doesn’t have that tuned sound system with thousands invested in it, what Spotify offers will be more than enough.

Subscription Pricing Plans

How much is Tidal in the USA?

Instead of advertising, Tidal free has pauses between tunes to educate listeners more about its paid plans or the music industry.

Specifically, they will mainly advertise the difference between Tidal’s free and HiFi plans between songs. Is this better than a new shaving kit ad? You decide. 

You have many options for paid versions of Tidal, but two tiers are the most popular: HiFi and Hifi Plus. HiFi Plus offers slightly more elements than the HiFi standard, like the MQA audio streaming quality or Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 audio if you have the correct gear. One particular feature with HiFi Plus that it’s interesting to be mentioned is that 10% of your subscription goes to the artists you listen to the most. This helps to boost the artist’s income by having direct support from the most devoted fans and frequent listeners.

TIDAL's plans FREE, HiFi, and HiFi Plus differences and prices.

Tidal has a vast range of plans. In fact, I’d say too much. It just gets complicated. This includes plans tiers for students, family bundles, military, and first responders. Which could easily be put under one plan, but they must know what they are doing.

The important ones are HiFi and Hifi Plus. 

Tidal Pricing Plans

  • HiFi – $9.99
  • HiFi Plus – $19.99
  • Family HiFi – $14.99
  • Family HiFi Plus – $29.99

Discounted Tidal Plans

  • Student HiFi – $4.99
  • Student HiFi Plus – $9.99
  • Military HiFi – $5.99
  • Military HiFi Plus – $11.99
  • Community Heroes – First Responder HiFi – $5.99
  • Community Heroes – First Responder HiFi Plus – $11.99

These would be much clearer if they came under the same discounted plan rather than six different options. It just gets messy. I understand why they do it. But come on, Tidal, let’s simplify things here.

How much is a 1 Year Subscription to Spotify?

When it comes to pricing plans. Spotify wins. Firstly, suppose you’re not sure whether you want to go the whole hog with a Spotify Premium account. In that case, you can try Spotify for free by creating a new account within a few clicks using your social media profile. Yet, it does have drawbacks. You can only skip 6 tracks an hour. Annoying. Whereas with a Premium account, you have unlimited skips. You will also have to listen to ads between songs without having the option to advance or skip them. This can be lame if you are throwing a party and your guests have to listen to the miraculous shampoo ad right in the middle of the dance time.

Spotify's plans Individuals, Duo, Family, and Student differences.

There are no ads on the premium version, and you can download tracks and podcasts to listen to later. Premium comes in four custom paid versions. Individual, duo, family, and student. All different price points with customizable options. Each one is simply explained. So you know what you’re getting. For example, with the family option, you can add or delete more members and block tunes with explicit lyrics. Not for little ones’ ears.

Spotify Pricing Plans

  • Individual – $9.99
  • Duo – $12.99
  • Family – $14.99
  • Student – $4.99

Tidal Vs Spotify. Which One is for you?

Both Tidal and Spotify will continue to grow and evolve over the next few years. Adding better options and features. But what about now? Which of these two music streaming platforms is the one for you?

Let’s break it up. Both have similar middle-range price plans. $9.99 a month for their standard music streaming models. Both have between 80 – 90 million songs.

Tidal offers a more premium option with HiFi Plus. You pay almost double at $19.99. What you get is superior quality with Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and HiFi music data formats. The artists and bands you favor the most with your listening get more money. Also, with Tidal’s free service, you get those music industry insights rather than ads between songs. So, if you are into the music industry, want to hear a better sound quality, and give extra support to your most frequently listened to artists, Tidal is for you.

Spotify is for music fans that need a general user-friendly platform that’s accessible and easy to use. It’s reliable and consistent and presents excellent social features to share and connect your account with your social media or between devices. It’s a more popular platform, so you will have more people to share your natively Spotify playlists without needing software like TuneMyMusic to help manage and share your playlists between music platforms. Another advantage is that Spotify is available in many countries around the world, making it easier for travelers who like to bring their favorite songs and curated playlists with them.

Whereas Tidal is perfect for those audiophiles that want that deep, deep bass and searing high notes. They want to hear the string buzz as David Gilmour moves along his guitar’s fretboard. Ultrasound-chasers need this when they listen to music. And that’s why they choose Tidal.

Tidal Vs Spotify – Comparison Score Table

TidalSpotify
Platform Personalization8590
User Experience and Interface8485
Connectivity Performance8595
Social7990
Massive Music Library9085
Audio Quality9579
Subscription Pricing Plans8085
Average8587

How to choose the right one?

So what happens if you invest a subscription into the wrong platform? You build precious playlists of your favorite tunes. And then bam! You want to change from Spotify to Tidal for superior audio quality. Or, you want to try out both music streaming platforms to see which one suits your needs but don’t want to create the same playlists twice. Well, thanks to TuneMyMusic, you can just do that.

TuneMyMusic is a service that allows you to quickly transfer your entire music library from Spotify to Tidal and Tidal to Spotify. It delivers fast and seamless playlist transfers from one platform to another. And it doesn’t just end with Tidal and Spotify. TuneMyMusic supports Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, Yandex Music, Pandora, and many other platforms. Meaning you’ll never lose the music you love.

What’s more, TuneMyMusic allows your friends to share their playlists. Even if they’re from different music streaming platforms. You can keep your playlists automatically synced if you like to run a few streaming platforms together.

And for complete peace of mind, TuneMyMusic can back up your entire music library list to a text file. This way, your hard work in building your music library will not be lost.

The service is free for transfers of up to 500 tracks. It’s completely online. No need to download any app or software, and you don’t even need to create an account on the free plan.

Check out today and be amazed at how smoothly it is to transit between your streaming services with TuneMyMusic.