Tidal Is Growing Faster Than Apple and Spotify COMBINED

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Tidal subscribers are surging at unprecedented rate…

In fact, since Kanye’s album dropped exclusively on Tidal in February, the platform has doubled its subscriber number.  Now, it’s added at least another one million thanks to a Beyonce exclusive.  All of which means Tidal has nearly tripled in size in about three months.

That’s a 200% growth rate, which is unprecedented in the streaming space.  But, is it enough to compete with Spotify and Apple Music?

Well… Currently Spotify sits at 30 million paying subscribers, Apple Music sits at 13 million.  Tidal’s last official count in March pegged the service at 3 million (with 1.5 million paying nearly $20-a-month for higher fidelity).  But, that was before Tidal adopted streaming exclusives as a major strategy.  And in the wake of a major surge in sign-ups following an exclusive of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, exclusives now appear to be a serious way to successfully grow and compete with bigger players in the game.

Indeed, The Life of Pablo single-handedly doubled Tidal’s subscriber numbers, so streaming Beyonce’s Lemonade album was a complete no-brainer.

Where does it stand amongst its competitors now?

DMN reported a surge in subscribers numbers just days after Lemonade was released on the platform. Now, the Jay Z-led platform has confirmed that the service gained a massive 1.2 million user sign ups (including free trials) in the first week of Lemonade’s release.

Add that 1.2 million to the already existing 3, and you get 4.2 million subscribers (and counting).

The average growth rate for Spotify and Apple Music is 1 million paying user sign-ups a month.  The fact that Tidal gained over 1 million in a week is a massive milestone for the platform. But, there’s obviously still a long way to go to be on the same level as Apple Music, let alone Spotify.

And the bigger fish will be chasing more big exclusives, so get ready.  Wasting no time, Apple Music has also been tying exclusives into a ‘windowing’ strategy to gain a bigger piece of the pie.  Apple’s recent Drake exclusive is certainly enough to compete head-to-head with Kanye and Beyonce, with equally-massive names certainly ahead.

19 Responses

  1. Choco

    Lemonade is an atrocity of BS that needs to end.

  2. Anonymous

    Don’t underestimate Tidal, they’ve got music videos — Spotify don’t.

    That’s a huge difference.

    • Me

      Right Tidal just need to work on their Tidal Discovery just like Spotify Weekly Discovery!

      • Anonymous

        They also found the right balance regarding sound quality:

        Nobody wants 24/96 files (not even Neil Young, apparently 🙂 ), but it makes sense to pay extra for 16/44. And you can’t get that on Spotify or YouTube. You can’t even buy it on iTunes…

  3. Nitpicker

    If you triple something, it’s increased by 200%, not 300%.

  4. Aaron

    I wonder how many more times sites will be paid to say TIDAL is surging, when in fact they are giving numbers that are inflated by free trial accounts. Let’s not forget The Life of Pablo scam where they promised members that they had the album first, but in fact it wasn’t even the complete/mastered album.

  5. Greg

    Free trial sign-ups shouldn’t be added to the total. More than half of those users will quit the service without paying a dime.

    The bigger question is whether Tidal’s exclusive strategy can lead to (large) sustainable growth. There’s obviously a population of users who will sign up in response to an exclusive release, but (a) those users may leave Tidal for Apple, Spotify, etc. if a competing service offers the next juicy exclusive (causing Tidal’s growth numbers would slow or reverse), and (b) if the users maintain their Tidal account, they obviously can’t join again in response to yet another Tidal exclusive (i.e., if you’ve already got all the Kanye / Beyonce fans who are willing to move for an exclusive, you can’t get them again to maintain your growth rate).

    These exclusives look great for Tidal in the short term, but long term they will become a very expensive form of table stakes. Great for the major labels and top tier artists, but bad for music fans and ultimately a wash for the services.

    • Psyer

      Being the most streamed genre of music in the world, makes the decision to begin in Hip-hop a no-brainer. Unless of course, you’ve assumed they only had a 1 year plan.

  6. Ian Liberman

    Tidal has not got a clue what cashes in when it comes to music genres. Hip Hop and Pop only cover 20 percent of the cash flow of the industry. They have the exclusives for those genres. They have basically abandoned the rock and metal market which accounts for about 68 percent of the market. You can not even get the largest selling cd in all genres of music in the last twenty-five years which is the black Metallica cd in their catalogue. That says symbolizes it all. Hope you got a good deal on the Neil Young collection instead.

  7. DeezNizzuhh

    hmmmm, nobody likes Tidal. I wonder why?


  8. Adam

    iTunes U.S. App Store:

    Spotify – #12 Free App
    Tidal – Not in the top 200

    Spotify – #1 Top Grossing Apps
    Tidal – #12 Top Grossing Apps.

    So how exactly are they growing faster?

    If they grow faster on one day or week it doesn’t mean much.

  9. Zotje

    I got a free trial so I could stream some Prince.

  10. Mike

    Love Tidal. Lossless streaming is awesome. Not 100% lossless though since most tracks are watermarked. Still sounds way better than apple music and spotify.

  11. Disco Stu

    “Did you know that disco record sales were up 400% for the year ending 1976? If these trends continue… A-y-y-y!”