Music streaming service Tidal is now available on the Apple Watch, allowing subscribers to stream music directly to Apple’s wearable or download it for offline listening. Instructions on how to get set up can be found on Tidal’s site. Spotify and Deezer both announced similar offline listening features for the Apple Watch last week. Subscription prices for Tidal start at $9.99 a month.
Tidal has historically sold itself on the quality of its audio streaming, offering features like lossless playback and even hi-res streaming before many of its bigger rivals. But this year, some of its biggest competitors are starting to catch up. Spotify’s lossless HiFi tier is set to launch later this year, and Apple Music will introduce support for lossless and hi-res streaming next month. Tidal’s high audio quality won’t translate to its Apple Watch app however. The music service has confirmed audio will be limited to 96Kbps on the wearable, like Spotify.
The service’s other major selling point is the amount it pays artists in royalties to stream their music. Analysis from Digital Music News puts Tidal’s rates ahead of Spotify, Apple, and Deezer, and it looks like this artist-supporting trend is set to continue after Jack Dorsey’s financial services company Square recently acquired a majority stake in the streaming service for $297 million. Dorsey specifically cited wanting to find “new ways for artists to support their work” as the reason for the acquisition.
“Square created ecosystems of tools for sellers & individuals and we’ll do the same for artists,” the CEO tweeted at the time, “We’ll work on entirely new listening experiences to bring fans closer together, simple integrations for merch sales, modern collaboration tools, and new complementary revenue streams.”
Tidal’s Apple Watch support requires a Series 3 model or later running watchOS 7.1.