Your Independent TV Streamer Guide

TIDAL

Tidal is a music and music video streaming service with a library of over 70 million tracks and 250,000 HD music videos. Tidal is similar to Spotify, but with two main differences.

The first is that Tidal promoted itself as artist-owned by musicians "that believe in creating a more sustainable model for the music industry." Although artist-owners still include Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Usher, Rihanna, and others, the mobile payments company Square became the majority owner of Tidal in March 2021.

The second primary benefit of Tidal is for serious listeners who are willing to pay extra for the Tidal HiFi streaming service ($19.99/month) that delivers CD-quality streaming. However, if Roku is your primary streaming device for the Tidal service, you'll need high-quality audio equipment capable of delivering CD-quality sound and you should verify the capabilities of your Roku device - even though Roku devices can decode FLAC, some of them may not send the audio signal out at the same quality as it was received. If you want to stream Tidal HiFi through Roku but don't already have the necessary hardware, consider purchasing a Roku Smart Soundbar & Streaming Media Player.

If you don't have high-end audio equipment, or if you're a casual listener and don't care to pay double for HiFi sound, a basic Tidal plan will cost you $9.99/month. The basic and HiFi plans both come with a 30-day free trial, available through both the Roku channel and the Tidal website. If you're already a subscriber to either plan, you can sign into Roku's Tidal channel with your current username and password. Wherever you sign up, your Tidal subscription can be used on any device with a Tidal app. (If you sign up through the Roku app, you can cancel at my.roku.com/account/subscriptions.)

On Roku, Tidal's app is more video-centric than is Tidal's browser-based experience. Tidal's home screen categories include Video Playlists, Artist Video Essentials, Hits Video Playlists, Live Performances, Movies, and several other video categories. Only by scrolling to the bottom of the screen do you find audio playlists and suggested new albums.

Unfortunately, none of the home screen categories are personalized to your own tastes. If you're a new Tidal user, you'll want to initially log into your Tidal account at listen.tidal.com where you'll be prompted to select artists in one or more genres. Although this won't result in personalization of the Tidal app's home screen on Roku, you can select "My Collection" from the left-hand menu where you will then find these artists listed. Selecting an artist will bring up (when available) Top Tracks, Videos, Albums, Playlists, EPs & Singles, and Related Artists.

We have yet to do a side-by-side comparison of Tidal with other Roku music apps like Spotify and Amazon Music, but we see no reason why you won't be satisfied with Tidal's music library or with the easy-to-use interface on their Roku app.

Information is current as of August 27, 2021

Developer's Channel Description: TIDAL is an artist-owned global music streaming and entertainment platform that values bringing artists and fans closer together through unique original content, exclusive experiences, and unparalleled audio quality. With over 60 million tracks and tons of exclusive interviews and videos, TIDAL is here to bring you closer to the artists you listen to. Create a playlist or try one of ours, hand-curated by music editors and even the artists themselves.

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CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Music

DEVELOPER: Aspiro AB co TIDAL

FEES: Basic plan is $9.99/month, HiFi (CD-quality) plan is $19.99/month; both come with a 30-day free trial.