Spotify vs Tidal: 2-Minute Breakdown

A quick breakdown of what we know when it comes to Spotify vs Tidal

The Overview; Spotify vs Tidal

There is a lot going on at Spotify right now. They are in hot water about Joe Rogan and his apparent misinformation, Neil Young pulled his music off the platform and the CEO apparently invested a bunch of money in a weapons technology company. Spotify stock is down 30% this month and a survey released last week by Forrester said a small percentage were considering canceling the service.

This, among other reasons, is why people are starting to look elsewhere. Interest in Spotify vs Tidal increased 100% in Google search in January alone.

You might be curious as to why you haven’t tried Tidal out yet. Tidal has had tons of hype since its debut. It was famously purchased and rebranded by Jay-Z and Roc Nation in 2015. Last year it sold to Jack Dorsey at Square (founder of Twitter) but Jay-z still hangs on to a small percentage. If you’re curious to learn more, we’ve talk about why Jay Z sold Tidal here.

Like most features in the streaming world, subtle differences are what make people love or hate a service. Here is a quick breakdown of the main features to highlight the Spotify vs Tidal battle. If you want a more in-depth version, check out our Tidal vs Spotify comprehensive breakdown here.

The Numbers

Spotify Users: 389,000,000

Tidal Users: 3,000,000

Sound Quality

As it stands, right now Tidal is doing a better job at audio quality. Tidal uses Hi-Fi audio which streams up to 1411 kbps while Spotify is only streaming at 320 kbps. The only real way to understand the difference is to try it yourself. It might be something that you notice, it might not.

Tidal also offers Hi-Fi Plus which streams up to 9216 kbps, which is some of the highest quality streaming in the world.


Spotify and Tidal currently both have the same price at 9.99; however, Tidal has a less expensive family plan. Tidal also offers a Hi-Fi music streaming service for $19.99 per month which streams up to 9216 kbps, as mentioned above, it’s the highest quality streaming you can find in the world right now.

What Streaming Service Pays Artists The Most?

According to the Trichodist, Tidal pays more than Spotify: “This data set is isolated to the calendar year 2019 and represents a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 350+ album catalog now generating over 1.5b streams annually” – Source the Trichodist.


When we say “Technology” we’re talking about the algorithms that predict what music the app suggests you listen to, for all intents and purposes we’ll call it the “predictive technology”.

We don’t have a lot of information about the predictive technology that each company uses; however, we’ve seen Reddit posts that say Tidal tends to push you in a new direction and discover new artists in the genre you’re listening to; whereas, Spotify tends to recommend music based on your overall tastes and might recommend other songs from the artist you already listening to,

Again, this comes down to preference. Some people like familiarity when they are listening to music whereas others need new sounds always. The best thing to do is try them both out and see for yourself.

Extra Features

A few years ago, Spotify publicity announced it was placing emphasis on podcasts however, Tidal has also taken big strides with exclusive podcast content. This again will depend on your preferences because both platforms have placed an emphasis on exclusive content in the podcast realm. For example, if you like Joe Rogan, he signed an exclusive deal with Spotify. Your best bet is to check and see if your favorite podcasts are on each platform and if you’re not into podcasts, try a few out on reach platforms.

An interesting feature of Tidal is their emphasis on video content, they even have movies. Tidal seems to be focusing on this as a differentiator. If you’re hungry for more video content, Tidal might be the better choice here.

Planning to switch from Spotify to Tidal? Watch this first: