(CelebrityAccess) — Digital streaming service TIDAL announced the addition of a free tier, along with newly expanded paid subscription tiers for the service.
TIDAL now offers three membership options, TIDAL Free, an ad-supported tier, along with TIDAL HiFi ($9.99/month) and TIDAL HiFi Plus ($19.99/month). The premium tiers are available in all of TIDAL’s 61 international markets, but the free tier will only be available to users in the U.S. at launch, though the company promises to expand the freemium tier to other regions in the future, as well.
Along with the new freemium offering, TIDAL also announced new creator-focused features like monthly direct-to-artist royalty payments. According to TIDAL, 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 and will provide an extra revenue stream for some artists.
As well, TIDAL announced plans to shift to what it calls ‘fan-centered royalties.’ Starting in 2022, royalties attributed to HiFi Plus subscribers will not be aggregated but will instead be paid based on the actual streaming activity of individual HiFi Plus subscribers as opposed to the industry accepted method of aggregating streams.
For distributions of the royalties, TIDAL has inked deals with Square, Cash App, and PayPal, providing artists with global access to the new revenue stream. TIDAL also has partnered with leading distributors 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
“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.”