Tidal, the Jay Z-owned music streaming service with an emphasis on audio quality, is now available on Amazon Echo devices. The streaming service comes via an Alexa skill, and it will require a Tidal subscription to use it.
Tidal is the first music streaming service to make use of Amazon’s Music Skill API, an initiative announced in September that allows streaming services to build in support for Alexa rather than needing to rely on Amazon. Previously, music streaming services, including Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora, have all supported playback using Alexa, but they’ve needed involvement from Amazon to get these working.
Although Tidal’s unique selling point has always been its optional hi-fi audio quality, hardware limitations mean that the Amazon Echo won’t be able to fully support the service’s “Tidal Masters” tracks. Getting the most out of these tracks requires having hardware that supports the hi-res MQA technology that Tidal uses to stream on mobile and desktop. Instead, Tidal is relying on its curated playlists to get people listening through their Echo speakers.