Which service is best for music streaming in 2021? – Techjaja

Today, I’m going to help you decide whether Spotify or Tidal should become your next music streaming service. So, in case you want to start streaming music, but don’t know which service is best for you. You’ve used both Tidal and Spotify, but you can’t seem to stick to just one. Then this article is for you.

Some of the things we will be looking at include.

  • Price
  • Music quality
  • and much more,

Let’s go. First of all, let’s look at the price.

ALSO READ: Spotify Plus is a New Level of Low Cost Subscription


Yes, streaming music comes at a cost. So, you’ll want to make sure that you get what you pay for. Let’s take a look at the pricing plans from Spotify and Tidal. PS: Prices are correct at time of writing, and all prices are in Ugandan Shillings.

Spotify Tide
Free try? 3 months 3 months
Free plan? Yes, with announcements No
Individual, a premium account. 10,000 per month 600 per day 1,500 for 3 days 4,000 for one week 10,000 per month
Duo, two premium accounts 13,000 per month No
Family, up to six premium accounts 16,000 per month No
Student 5,000 per month No
Subscription with Streaming Data. No 1,500 per day 3,500 for 3 days 6,000 for a week 15,000 per month

Spotify offers a free ad-supported plan.

Well, from the table, it’s clear that Spotify and Tidal’s premium plans are tied at 10,000 shillings per month. But, that doesn’t make it a tie yet. This is because Spotify has an ad-supported free plan. So for absolutely no money, you can still listen to music on Spotify.

However, you will need to agree to some things on the free plan, such as 30-second ads every 30 minutes. You are only allowed to skip a maximum of six tracks per playing hour. And all songs as well as playlists will be played randomly except some in-demand playlists.

Offline downloads are also prohibited. And you won’t get extreme audio quality for the streams. But, it’s free. Well, it doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

Tidal has a subscription that includes streaming data

Tidal does not have a free plan. So yes, come here with the money on your hands. What it does have, however, is a subscription with streaming data. This is what it is able to provide, thanks to a partnership with MTN Uganda.

So for a little extra money you will be able to get data for streaming as well. And the best part? This data is basically unlimited. So you can use as much data as you want for streaming on the tide app.

It’s easier to pay for Tidal.

When it comes to paying for a premium membership, Tidal is as easy as it gets. All you need is an MTN SIM card with a mobile money account. Simply dial * 165 * 66 # and follow the instructions.

On the other hand, to pay for a Spotify premium account, you must have a VISA card linked to your bank account. You then simply log into the Spotify web portal and follow the steps. While accessible, many Ugandans will agree that using mobile money is faster and simply more convenient.

So who wins in terms of price?

Well, it’s a tie for this round. Tidal may not have a free plan, but its ease of payment and subscription with streaming data is perfectly compatible with Spotify’s ad-supported free plan.

Well, it’s a tie for this round. Tidal may not have a free plan, but its ease of payment and subscription with streaming data is perfectly compatible with Spotify’s ad-supported free plan.

Winner Tie.

Next, we will look at the quality of the music.

Music quality

close up of a man with sunglasses listening to music

Okay, where are all my audiophiles? This section is for you. Let’s see which service has the best music quality.

Here’s a detailed breakdown.

Spotify Tide
Moo 24 kbit / s No
Normal 96 kbit / s 96 kbit / s
High 160 kbit / s 320 kbit / s
Extreme / Very high 320 kbit / s No
Hifi stereo Coming soon 1411 kbit / s
Main quality audio Coming soon Up to 9216 kbit / s

Spotify’s extreme / super high streams are pretty good.

Ok, let’s face it, if you don’t care much about the best music quality for streaming then the high quality of Spotify (best for free users) and extreme / super high quality (best for users). premium) will suffice.

Tidal’s Hi-Fi and Master quality audio is pure magic.

However, if you just want the best music quality out there for streaming, then Tidal will make you very happy.

Although it costs a lot more than Tidal premium, Tidal’s Hi-Fi tier streams at 1411 kbps (FLAC), lossless audio quality that is even better than CD quality. That, over 25 million tracks with Master Quality Audio (said as the artist recorded), makes Tidal the ultimate music streamer of choice for anyone who takes music quality seriously.

Well, who has the best music quality?

Tidal easily sweeps this round. The extreme quality of Spotify is great, but if you want the best music quality when streaming music, and have the best music equipment to play it, go ahead and buy Tidal’s premium Hi-Fi plan.

Winner Tide.

Other services besides music streaming

In this section, we’ll take a look at other in-app services besides the music streaming provided by Spotify or Tidal. We will only review those services that we believe enrich your overall music listening experience.

Here’s a breakdown of the services we’re talking about.

Spotify Tide
Podcasts? Yes Yes, but limited
Music videos? No Yes, included with playlists.
Exclusive album releases? No Yes
Concert videos? No Yes, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes videos.
Artist interviews? Not on the app Yes, video on some podcasts.
Song credits? Yes Yes
Concert tickets? No Yes, you can win tickets or buy early bird tickets for some concerts.

Spotify is great if you like podcasts.

Yes, if you love to listen to podcasts then Spotify is for you. Their catalog contains podcasts on almost every topic under the sun. Whether you’re looking for personal development, motivation, comedy, or the latest news, there’s a podcast for it on Spotify.

Tidal offers services that will enrich your entire musical life.

So Tidal isn’t very good with podcasts. But, it is not necessary. This is because it is full of other services that all music lovers will appreciate and find useful. On Tidal, you’ll find music videos of the latest songs already added to video playlists so you don’t have to visit Youtube every time you crave visuals.

With concert videos such as MadeinAmerica and Tidal X, you can experience some of the world’s greatest artists live. Podcasts like car test and Rap Radar bring you closer to the artist with in-depth and fun interviews. Concert videos are also available for non-subscribers.

One thing that really puts Tidal aside is the exclusive albums and videos. This is when an artist releases an album to stream exclusively on one platform for a set period of time before it becomes available on other platforms. Big names like Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Beyonce have all released exclusive albums on Tidal.

Right now, Tidal is still the only place to stream Beyonce’s lemonade. Tidal also has exclusive rights to some of Prince’s albums. That, along with a bunch of exclusive artist videos and behind-the-scenes access to concerts, keeps Tidal on top for exclusive music content.

And in case you want to purchase tickets for your favorite concerts, Tidal offers quick and easy ways to pay for them through Ticketmaster. They even give lucky users free concert tickets to attend some of their concerts like Tidal X.

So which service improves your music life in general?

Well, I would say Tidal. While Spotify is unbeatable when it comes to podcasts, Tidal has a host of other services that make it more like a VIP club for music lovers.

Winner Tide.

Notable mentions

hand iphone laptop internet
Photo by Zx Teoh

In this section, we’ll take a look at some other important mentions that are easy to ignore but can make a huge difference to most people. These aren’t necessarily huge things, but together they add up a lot.

Tidal has playlists specially designed for Uganda.

If you are a die-hard Ugandan music fan then Tidal is your best option. This is because Tidal has playlists specially designed for the Ugandan music scene. You will easily find everything from Sheebah, Winnie Nwagi, Eddy Kenzo and all your favorite Ugandan artists on playlists like Top 100 Uganda, Rising Uganda and others.

Spotify, on the other hand, will satisfy those who want internationally curated playlists. Their playlists such as Today’s Top Hits contain the greatest songs on the planet right now. Spotify does not have a playlist specifically designed for Uganda at this time, however. But you can still check out playlists like MadeInUg which has the latest Ugandan music.

Spotify has the most relevant music discovery feature.

One of the great things about streaming music is that you get daily mixes curated just for you. These daily mixes are based on your listening history. Simply put, the platform makes playlists with your favorite songs and a few other tunes that you might like. Thus, you are able to discover new songs or favorite artists to broaden your listening range.

You get daily mixes on Tidal and Spotify, and with those you’ll be happy. But, Spotify has a playlist called Discover Weekly that will shock you. Not in a bad way but in his way of suggesting songs as if he knows you personally.

So if you want better song recommendations, Spotify will work just fine for you. Put simply, Spotify curates the best playlists overall.

Finally coming, is my verdict.

So what’s my verdict? Which streaming service should I use? Well, it’s Tidal. Spotify’s free plan is great if you’re really strapped for cash. But when it comes to premium, Tidal’s mix of high-quality music streams, exclusive content, and ease of payment gives it the edge over Spotify.

So, now over to you. Which service do you choose? Is Spotify’s Free Plan Right For You? Or maybe you like that Tidal has streaming data included in the subscription?

Whatever your thoughts on this article, let me know in the comments below.

This article was a guest article written by Daniel Ohmehjee. Daniel is a network engineering student and loves content marketing.

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