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TIDAL Launches First Free Music Tier And Direct-To-Artist Payments

TIDAL has announced a new free tier, enhanced paid subscription tiers, direct-to-artist payments, fan-centred royalties, and more.

With support from the vast majority of our record label and distributor partners, TIDAL aims to go beyond current industry standards to make royalty payments more transparent for artists and rights holders.

"We're building a platform that values art, artists, and culture, and for the first time opening the platform experience up to a wider group of fans with the free tier," said Jesse Dorogusker, head of TIDAL.

"TIDAL is also supporting artists with fairer earning terms and quicker payments, and fans are getting a better way to support their favorite artists. These offerings are the first step of many, and we're excited to collaborate with artists to evolve our tools to help them continue to grow and create on their own terms."

TIDAL now offers three membership options for fans to choose from: TIDAL Free (US-only), TIDAL HiFi, and TIDAL HiFi Plus. Both HiFi tiers are available in all of TIDAL's 61 international markets with plans to extend the free tier to other markets in the future.

All tiers have access to the same catalogue of over 80 million songs, videos and curated playlists, with each tier having its own set of perks outlined below:

  • TIDAL Free (US-only): For the first time, music fans can now try TIDAL at no cost, with access to the entire music catalogue and playlists, with limited interruptions.

  • TIDAL HiFi: At $9.99/month, this tier offers interruption-free access to HiFi sound quality. With TIDAL HiFi, members have offline capabilities, access to features like TIDAL Connect and My Activity, which provides individualised daily listening insights.

  • TIDAL HiFi Plus: For $19.99/month, HiFi Plus features everything the HiFi tier offers, in addition the introduction of fan-centred royalties and direct-to-artist payments.

    HiFi Plus will also continue to provide access to immersive sound formats, Dolby Atmos Music and Sony 360 Audio Recordings, and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), alongside early access to exclusive offerings and future features. 

TIDAL was founded by artists, so the importance of economic empowerment is ingrained in what they do, no matter what stage of your career you're in.

As of now, TIDAL will offer monthly direct-to-artist payments. This program will give artists access to an additional payment stream, so artists can benefit directly from their biggest fans on TIDAL.

Each month, a percentage of HiFi Plus subscribers' membership fees will be directed towards their top streamed artist, which they will see in their activity feed. This direct-to-artist payment is in addition to their streaming royalties.

Starting in 2022, TIDAL is taking a different approach on royalties. In this new model, royalties attributed to HiFi Plus subscribers will not be aggregated.

Rather, royalties will be paid based on the actual streaming activity of individual HiFi Plus subscribers as opposed to the industry accepted method of aggregating streams, empowering fans to play a larger role in the success of their favourite artists.

TIDAL has linked up with Square, Cash App, and PayPal to help ensure quick and seamless payouts to artists globally.

TIDAL also has partnered with CD Baby, DistroKid, Stem, Symphonic, and Tunecore, with Equity Distribution and Vydia launching soon, to ensure artists sharing music through those platforms are able to receive their payments via in-platform registration seamlessly.

All artists must opt-in to access direct artist payouts, either through TIDAL's invite-only direct registration option or through one of TIDAL's distribution partners.

TIDAL will continue to open access to the program in the coming months, with information being made available for artists with music available on TIDAL at TIDAL.com/ForArtists.

"TIDAL has been with me since the beginning, providing emerging artists, like myself, with resources to pursue my passion," said Sam Austins, singer and songwriter.

“It's exciting to see them continue to evolve their streaming platform to better support artists and their fans with new features like direct-to-artist payments. TIDAL was founded by artists, so the importance of economic empowerment is ingrained in what they do, no matter what stage of your career you're in."