On April 23, 2016 Beyoncé released her latest album Lemonade along with a visual album that could only be viewed on Tidal. Tidal and Beyoncé signed a contract that gave Tidal sole rights to the release of her visual album and putting snippets of the audio and visual album on its home page.

Tidal is a subscription-based music streaming service that combines lossless audio and high definition music videos, but it is also under the ownership of Project Panther Ltd., owned by Beyonce’s husband Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.

Above: Beyonce Gif (Source: Giphy)


Now that we have that bit of gossip out of the way:

Upon Jay-Z acquiring Tidal, a mass-marketing campaign with the title #TIDALForAll was released on social media by multiple musicians. 16 musicians (including Jay-Z) are co-owners and stakeholders in Tidal, making it the first artist-owned streaming service, but not the only music streaming service.

Spotify (which is not available in South Africa) is a Swedish commercial music streaming, podcast and video service, launched in 2008, that provides digital rights management-protected content from record labels and media companies. Music can be searched by artist, album, genre, playlist or record label just like in Tidal.

Apple also has a similar streaming service to that of Spotify, however in terms of user service, it seems as if Spotify takes the cup. However, with Tidal’s new breakthrough into the music streaming industry, it seems as if Spotify might just be losing its place in the running.

However, before the release of “Lemonade”, my knowledge of music streaming services was limited to SoundCloud. The difference between SoundCloud and Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music, is that the latter have a subscription fee and award the artists whose music is streamed loyalties from their work.

This is an achievement in the internet music industry because of the high fidelity and lossless audio quality and higher subscription fees which would lead to higher royalties to musicians, however, others felt that the high subscription fees would lead to an increase in music piracy (which I will discuss in my next post) on and off the Internet.

However, if you want to make a decision of your own about which is better, all three music streaming services offer free trials to try out their service. Apple Music has a three-month free trial, Spotify has a 60-day trial  and Tidal has a 30-day free trial. But the subscription fee is not the only thing the that is different between the three.

Above: A table documenting the differences between Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal (Source: The Verge)


The general consensus is that Tidal is the best (as suggested by the video below), but you also need to consider the quality of the earphones/headphones/speakers used.



Music streaming sites have combined the Internet and music to create the best user experience for Internet users and music lovers. They have turned into music search engines and allowed for the search and access of majority of the songs to ever have been created in the world. It just changes the game so much knowing that you don’t have to buy whole CDs that will take up space in your place or download songs that will eat up your phone’s storage memory. It just feels so good, so right, that even Queen Bey herself agrees.


Above: Beyonce Gif (Source: Giphy)


For a detailed and longer understanding of the three music streaming services, watch the video below:




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