Stream Wars: Tidal, Apple & Spotify

Spotify, Apple, and Tidal are three major streaming services battling for mindshare, music catalogues and subscribers. Streaming music has changed the industry drastically, with the number of streams in the first week becoming more relevant than physical copies. These services are doing everything they can to gain our subscription. All three are different and some are trying more than others to increase their userbase. Most people aren’t willing to subscribe to all three and a funny, fanboy, battle is happening as people choose sides. Here’s the definitive ranking of the three services


Spotify is in rough shape. The only reason why it’s still in the race is because of familiarity. Many users first started streaming with Spotify and Pandora. When people realized they could gain access to a massive library with a premium subscription, music lovers flocked. Since masses moved to Spotify the service has done little to nothing to keep old customers and gain new ones. The best thing about the services is how familiar it is. I have several playlists on Spotify and that’s the only thing keeping me from leaving. Its interface is simple and user-friendly, but that’s it.

With that being said, I don’t plan on leaving Spotify anytime soon. Its userbase is so massive that most artists can’t keep albums off of it.


Tidal had a rough start when it launched. As a service “by and for the artists” it had a difficult time convincing casual music fans to adopt its Hi-Fi sound quality and a library much smaller than Spotify. Their initial pitch was all wrong and the internet let them know it. Since then, they’ve gained goodwill with exclusive content and contests. Rihanna, Kanye, and Beyonce have all offered their albums for stream on Tidal exclusively for periods of time. Jay and Beyonce have hosted concerts for Tidal users, and they are making strides to gain the support of fans and other artists. Tidal users are the only ones that can stream Lemonade right now, and it’s artists like these that can bring fans to the service.

Apple Music

The recent release of Drake’s Views proved that Apple Music is definitively the best streaming services available right now. With a fantastic library, exclusive new releases, and most importantly, Beats One Radio, Apple has forced its way into the market place. Its secret weapon is that it is already on everyone’s phone. Artists are releasing new music on the radio service and fans listen online with other Twitter followers. Drake’s album premired on OVO Radio and it seemed like everyone was on the internet reacting and listening. It was a special moment and brought us back to the 90s and early 2000s when songs premiered on the radio and we shared the moment together. It’s only a matter of time before Apple Music become the dominant services.

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