In less than two years, Jay Z has managed to position his streaming company Tidal as a viable competitor to Spotify and Apple Music.
Exclusive releases and concerts by artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna and most recently, Kanye West, have helped power Tidal to the #1 spot in Apple’s App Store.
Which one of the services is the best fit for you and your listening habits? It’s important to choose wisely.
Generally, they all have the same material available to stream.
If you’re a fan of Kanye, Tidal is the only place you’ll find his music. And if you like Taylor Swift, forget about finding her music on Spotify. Same with Prince.
Those major differences aside, there’s a number of technical variations between Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music.
Talia Sterman of UPenn’s 34thSt.com was gracious enough to analyze the pros and cons of using each any of the services.
Pro: Exclusives and first looks from artists you’ll probably be interested in.
Con: Lack of personalized recommendations, expensive for premium services
Pro: Best for discovery of new music thanks to personalized playlists by day, mood or activity.
Con: If this is really a con, Spotify’s catalog is massive since they are the oldest players in the game. It can be hard to find all of the music in a logical way without the discovery features.
Pro: Simple interface that works great with the iPhone. In addition to the streaming catalog, Apple’s Beats 1 features radio stations by Dr. Dre, Drake, DJ Khaled it in Zane Lowe and others.
Con: Apple Music is a new service with a lot of design work to do to their interface. Also, you can expect Tidal to continue cleaning up with the exclusives, which may impact what you get to hear on the other services.