Apple Will Charge You 30% More If You Subscribe to TIDAL on iOS

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Jay-Z’s #TidalFacts information campaign spiraled out of control, but TIDAL is still trying to win fans over with various promotions.

First off, Jay is apparently going by “Jaÿ-Z” now.

Second thing, TIDAL is running a contest. The prize is access to an intimate Jaÿ-Z show in New York where he will perform “b-sides”. These are tracks that Jaÿ-Z either hasn’t performed live, or tracks he hasn’t performed in 10 years.

TIDAL users have to create a playlist and share it on Twitter to enter.

The price of TIDAL subscriptions purchased from inside the iOS app have gone up. The price of hifi moves from $19.99 a month to $25.99 a month. The non-hifi subscription moves from $9.99 a month to $12.99.

TIDAL says this is a cost that’s tacked on by Apple, and if you purchase subscriptions directly from TIDAL they will still be $9.99 or $19.99.

If you purchase TIDAL for the higher price in-app, that price increase will last for the duration of your subscription.

 

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

29 Responses

  1. Anon

    Apple also does this with Spotify and Rdio if you try to purchase a subscription. I smell some anti-trust ligation on the horizon.

    Reply
    • agraham999

      How so? You are using Apple’s payment systems and Apple has to maintain that system and pay transaction costs. If the only way you could pay for Tidal and other services was through Apple, then perhaps. Not the case. Read the article…you can pay Tidal direct.

      Other payment gateways do the same thing. In fact Google in-app is the same 70/30 split.

      Also…not sure if this was a quote or Nina wrote it but you should clarify and change it if you wrote it:

      “TIDAL says this is a cost that’s tacked on by Apple, and if you purchase subscriptions directly from TIDAL they will still be $9.99 or $19.99.”

      Actually that is a cost tacked on by Tidal to cover the cut from Apple. Apple doesn’t tack anything on to your in-app fees…entirely set by app developers/platforms.

      Reply
      • Anon

        The anti-trust piece comes into play when Apple is able to price a Beats sub for $9.99 and everyone else either has to tack on the additional 30% when they go through Apple or price at $9.99 and be forced to give 30% to Apple – both cases are anti-competitive. The cost of transaction/etc for Apple is actually pretty negligible. They are just using their market power to extract superfluous dollars from everyone using their app store. While you point out Google, they actually don’t force you to pay the 30%. Within the Play store you can disable in-app transactions and when someone upgrades through Play it just does a mobile-web redirect to the streaming service’s direct site where you can buy at a $9.99 rate (as you see Spotify and others do). That’s why Spotify is $9.99 everywhere including Google except for Apple where they are $12.99.

        Reply
        • agraham999

          “The anti-trust piece comes into play when Apple is able to price a Beats sub for $9.99 and everyone else either has to tack on the additional 30% when they go through Apple or price at $9.99 and be forced to give 30% to Apple – both cases are anti-competitive.”

          Again, any of these services have the choice to use their own direct payment gateways. Is it an anti-trust case because they have to use the same credit card transaction systems and pay 2-3% for access to credit card processing? Everyone pays transaction fees there.

          Tidal is already charging a higher fee for access to music and even if beats is $9.99 and they don’t have a 30% cut to pay Apple, Tidal is still able to charge a matching fee direct off their site.

          “The cost of transaction/etc for Apple is actually pretty negligible. They are just using their market power to extract superfluous dollars from everyone using their app store.”

          So Apple spends billions developing a platform and a store and actually bears most of the costs associated with running said store and payment systems and their 30% cut is superfluous? They aren’t running a charity. Again, there’s nothing to stop anyone from going direct to Tidal and paying direct.

          “While you point out Google, they actually don’t force you to pay the 30%. Within the Play store you can disable in-app transactions”

          And you don’t have to pay a 30% transaction fee to Apple. You can disable in-app purchases and have people pay on the Tidal site directly. That’s what Amazon does.

          Reply
          • Alex

            But – Apple won’t let you promote any other method of payment in-app other then their own. So you CAN’T direct users to your site to pay instead. This is where their trouble may lie.

    • Remi Swierczek

      Yes it is!

      Just like Spotify. Gigantic conversion of dollars in music to cents in streaming subs!

      Only YouTube with UMG created VEEVOO beats streaming in monetization stupidity.

      Reply
  2. Rusty Hodge

    Apple doesn’t “mark it up”. Apple takes a 30% cut of transactions through the app store.

    The app developer sets the price themselves.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      This.

      Then again, Nina is a Google mouthpiece so we should expect this kind of “journalism” from her.

      Reply
  3. dave chappelle

    This is how the app store has always worked for any purchase using apples payment api. Rdio has always eaten the cost, Spotify more recently. Tidal sounds like they just have terrible product management. Consumers aren’t going to blame apple; they will blame tidal for being too expensive.

    Reply
  4. Ric

    Oh my god, this article is so mind numbingly ignorant. When an in app purchase is made, Apple takes 30%. Every subscription (Magazine, Music Service, etc) marks up their pricing to make sure they keep their margins in tact.

    Reply
    • ric

      Sorry, not “every” app, but most do. I don’t understand the weighted bias against specific organizations while others get a pass. This is not news.

      Reply
      • Name2

        You mean like Taylor Swift vs. Jay-Z?

        Apple vs. Google?

        Yeah, I wonder, too.

        Reply
  5. tcooke

    30% is a typical consignment rate. Payment transactions should be near a paypal 2.9%. This is access to their customers, the %30 gouge.

    Reply
  6. Kirk

    BS. Tidal sets the prices. They’ve increased the price by 30% to take into account Apple’s commission. Apple is not charging you more.

    Reply
    • Name2

      Apple’s a high-markup prestige “retail” store. They should realize that once in a while, a supplier will just say “Fuck it.” and tell Apple to mark it up as they please, and deal with the fallout as they may. I see no reason for Apple to get $6/mo out of Tidal’s $20 for the life of a subscription.

      Tidal will have to make another hard decision when it comes time to put in-app music purchases on the mobile apps.

      What a surprise. Apple is the company everybody here at DMN loves to death.

      Reply
  7. Truthbetold

    Tidal is a way for “artists” to capitalize off of music that you can find free on YT and Free music downloader apps on Android or Pc (maybe not apple i’m not sure). But either way Jay is out of his damn mind, how are we supposed to pay more if hard working American’s can’t even get more than minimum wage? 20.00(excluding college graduates working at a higher salary and upper class) ? That’s 2 hours of work for the majority of lower/middle class working people. Atleast make people pay 9.99 like spotify (for everything) and then we’ll talk! And people please don’t follow the “pay more to artists” BS . Jay z has over 1 BILLION dollars in net worth please J.. don’t bring a bunch of brainless millonaires on stage to convince us Tidal is good. Bring starving artists on stage who are trying to make it through.

    Reply
    • Musicservices4less

      And here it is.

      Every comment until “Truthbetold” was legitimate opinion regarding Apple’s and Tidal’s business decisions and operations. But here comes the “free/steal/support piracy response from the generation(s) that have been taught that it is OK to steal data and support piracy because want something, don’t like the price so since it’s so easy just to take it, it’s Ok to do that.

      This is a very real problem and one of the key way’s to attack it is to fight all out against piracy and those businesses that support it for any reason or excuse. If piracy was under control Truthbetold would have to make a decision that everyone makes all the time regarding things they want. That is, how much am I willing to pay for it?

      You can’t compete against free. Nor can you vote with your pocket book against free.

      Reply
  8. J

    Somewhat satisfying to see Tidal running into all the same issues that other services face. This is going to be a wake-up call to artists. In the end this is going to blow up in the artists faces as they realize the economics of the streaming industry and find they can’t generate enough revenue to cover costs.

    The 30% increase is just bad business. Everyone is aware of this transaction fee so you should never have to raise rates on iOS at the last minute, it should have been part of your original plan.

    I thought that Apple wouldn’t even let you have a higher price point than what you charge from your site directly…

    Reply
  9. Wooly

    Ever hear of the Google Play store? You know, the one that services the largest segment of smartphone owners.

    Reply
  10. Edward Jennings

    I just received my PayPal receipt for tidalhifi.com.

    $19.99 paid directly to TiDAL

    No $25.99 here. Why would I pay Apple $6 a month more when they add no value to this transaction at all?

    Reply
    • Jeremy

      The better question is why would you pay 19.99 at all, for any music service offering nothing special.

      Reply
      • Name2

        1. Does everything the other services do (offline mobile listening, playlists, multiple mobile devices, big names,
        small names, etc.)
        2. I’ve stopped ripping my purchased CDs to FLAC to simply take 44.1/16 on the road. Tidal not only does
        that FOR me, my resulting library is searchable and IN DA CLOUD.

        That’s worth $19.99 to me. YMMV.

        Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Apple makes 30% on all app and in-app purchases. If you link to a site that does the transaction from an iOS app, you still have to pay the 30%.

    That’s why Amazon doesn’t allow book purchases in its Kindle iOS app. It doesn’t believe in the 30% Apple Tax.

    Why you can’t buy Kindle books on iOS

    Reply

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