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Tidal to Change Subscription, Abandoning the Free Tier

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Tidal changing its subscription model - iMusician

Tidal has entered a new era, as the streaming platform has announced changes to its subscription model. In the new offering, the dual-tier subscription and the free tier have been dropped.

Tidal introduces a single-tier subscription offering

Starting April 10, 2024, in the United States, Tidal will offer a single subscription called ‘Tidal,’ combining its original HiFi and HiFi Plus plans. The new subscription will cost $10.99/month (which is the price of the less expensive HiFi subscription) and will include high-res FLACs, Dolby Atmos mixes, and Tidal MQA, which, previously, were only available with the HiFi Plus plan.

Meanwhile, the HiFi and HiFi Plus Family Plans will turn into a single ‘Tidal Family Subscription’ priced at $16.99/monthly.

Increased pricing of DJ integration & end of the free tier

While the changes are mostly about simplifying and reducing prices for users, they will hit the pockets of those using Tidal’s DJ integration. In the past, the DJ integration was available with the HiFi subscription. Now, however, users will be charged an additional $9, totaling $19.99/month—the current HiFi Plus subscription price. Moreover, the military/first-responder discounts will no longer be available.

In addition, Tidal has officially decided to abandon its Tidal Free tier, meaning that anyone on that plan now will have to switch to the new ‘Tidal’ subscription to continue enjoying the platform’s services. The only thing remaining is the student plans, which will still be available at $4.99/month.

As assumed, the new tier model should help Tidal to compete better with Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify. The reduced subscription prices will allow the company to provide users with a similar offering as Apple Music and Amazon with their hi-res solutions and, at the same time, offer something that Spotify has been lacking. Although Spotify announced its plan to integrate HiFi service over three years ago, it is still nowhere to be found. It is a good tactic for Tidal to take advantage of the situation and become more competitively capable.

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