Is Tidal in trouble?

I read that when it first came out. Great title, kind of gives away his feelings somewhat!

Sprint is changing its bundling of Tidal, not sure if that helps or hurts. See article for cool infographic of user acquisition, payout to artists, and annual losses for all major streamers (data circa March though)


Hi Jamie,

I have a MBA from a well accredited business school and have worked in business for many years. Journalists for business publications get it wrong all the time. Their track record is not a lot better than the weatherman’s. Case in point, I’m writing this about 11 months after this thread was started stating Tidal’s eminent demise. Tidal is still going strong. I also read recently that the amount of money that Tidal has lost is a small drop in the bucket to the amount of money Spotfiy has lost by more than a factor of ten. It is well know that Amazon lost money for years and only recently started making a serious profit.

I believe Tidal with Roon is very similar to Tesla in that Tesla is not the only maker of automobiles, and Tidal is not the only streaming service. But what both Tesla and Tidal with Roon do is transform the experience into something people can be passionate about. Where Tidal with Roon is not like Tesla is Tesla is a household name. Tidal with Roon is not, and has a long ways to go to have the level of recognition Tesla has. When I have friends over and show them how Tidal with Roon works in my house, feeding music to all of my audio systems in very high fidelity, and they get to see the interface and play with it on my iPad, the love it and want it. Unfortunately not enough people know this yet to get to the tipping point. But the momentum seems to be building as more Roon Ready devices come along.

It would help if Roon would do a little more to get their marketing updated. Roon having on the main page of their website “Product of the Year” endorsements from 2015 seems quite dated, and their Facebook postings are very far and few between. To the causal observer it could seem like Roon is almost defunct. The fact that these are easy fixes and yet they don’t happen does not help Roon’s cause.

There have been rumors in the past that Apple may buy Tidal. If this was to happen, for us who love Tidal with Roon, we hope nothing will change with the high-quality MQA, and Tidal-Roon collaboration. Perahps Roon will eventually become part of Apple too? Certainly Apple could learn a lot from Roon and that could get Roon’s awesome business concept to the tipping point in a flash.


I really hope Apple does not buy Tidal or Roon.


I was about to click “like” on this post until I read this statement. As an Apple user (not a lover) for 15 years I hope Apple never buys Roon, from the consumer point of view, though it will be a money windfall for Roon developers. With the well known “closed” nature of Apple and know-it-all attitude forcing changes on consumers, I’m curious as to why you think Apple will keep Tidal with Roon.
We come here to seek software assistance and Feature requests with vibrant engagement from the community and the developers. This definitely will disappear with Apple’s acquisition.


12 posts were split to a new topic: Roon Marketing Improvements

I understand. I am an Apple user too but see their shortcomings.

I see Tidal and Roon that acheive greatness only when used together. Roon is good by itself. The same with Tidal, but they are the definition of teamwork where 1 +1 = 3 or more. Together they outpace and outclass anything else out there.

My point is really that Apple has blown it in the music space. Apple talks about how important the user experience is, but actions speak louder than words. With music their talk does not match their walk. Why did Apple put out a 4K capable Apple TV, yet is still stuck in the world of loossy low quality music? Why is there not an MQA iPod? Apple, to me, has raised the white flag. Sony, Onkyo, and others are providing us with portable players with MQA and other hi-rez format capabilities. Tidal is streaming MQA. There is the potential that the equipment makers, with the software devleopers (Tidal Roon) could gain a lot. It is a tough path since retail is not what it used to be and online journals are few and far between. If you want only a small segment of the consumer marketing understanding hi-rez music, then you’ve already got that. I only wish Apple will wake up and make a decent portable player again, and start offering hi-rez music. Music for the masses, and make it great music for the masses. That is what I’d like to see.

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As the owner of an LG G7 I have no interest in DAPs. I don’t want to have to carry around another device with another battery to charge, other updates to install, and a different interface to learn. My LG has a DAC which measures excellently, the ability to bypass the OS mixer, MQA capability, and expandable storage up to 2 TB.

Apple Should have given the iPhone all of the capabilities of the iPod and upgraded it over time. Instead they have taken away capabilities, showing more interest in selling their customers multiple products. Like an iPhone, overpriced storage in that phone, and AirPods. Normal people are just using their phones for streaming on the go and as an audiophool I don’t see the point in doing anything other then that. Especially when I can download content for offline use with Tidal and play it back in high fidelity. Apple is not catering to people like me and no new iPod could change that.

Btw the only thing I used for mobile listening before I got this LG was an iPod Classic 7th gen with my old iTunes library on it. I didn’t bother putting new music into iTunes because it was irritating and every update seemed to make it worse. So happy to have Roon and Tidal now and I would hate to see Apple screw them up.

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Your MBA appears quite useful here: Tidal will sink, the examples you’ve given are terrible examples.
Here’s the problem: My MPD (Music Player Daemon) playing 128 kb/s Internet sounds far superior than anything from the [Moderated] catalogue/ platform (yes, even its dubious “Hi-Rez” offerings) has to offer. And, by a long-shot.


How do you know it “sounds far superior”? How exactly did you “test” that? How do you know your perceptions aren’t entirely subjective (i.e. based on your personal taste or expectation bias)? How do you know the differences you think you hear aren’t caused by your audio system?


Tidal will face even more competition when Qobuz will be launching its streaming service to US very soon.

It has already been proven Tidal Hi-Fi being 100% identical to CD by comparing the frequency spectrums of both.
Sometimes the album might sound different being a remaster but it has nothing to do with the quality of Tidal’s stream.


Yes, that’s all true, but the difference between 128kb/s and CD quality IS audible. I think it’s perfectly okay if some people (probably a very small minority) prefer the former to the latter. I’m not one of them. Maybe @peter_jasz is. If that’s his personal taste - who am I to judge…?

This thread and discussion has evolved in interesting ways. Flaming this and that. I understand some arguments and others are probably mostly trolling.

One thing I think is certain and that is no matter what happens to Tidal we will still have Tidal. At least in the short term. Ten years from now … who knows? And, frankly, who cares? If there is a will there is a way.

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Agreed. I’ve decided to opt out of any further subjectivist vs. objectivist discussions.
They are tedious and pointless.

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Haha @xxx, you know you can’t resist eventually.


So what bandwith, or kbps, would be required to get streaming to true CD quality? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I want to learn from you techies :grinning:

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A couple mbps for uncompressed pcm. Of course flac compression will save some bandwidth.

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hwz1970: Fair enough. Let’s put it another way; some of the 128 kb/s internet radio streams (via MPD) sounds spectacular -regardless if comparing with Tidal or any other format (digital or ‘analog’).

I love it when I hear you (jump-on-the-bandwagon types) reference “expectation bias” in your responses. Seriously, I expected 128 kb/s compressed audio to sound that great ?
I recall near ‘up-chucking/ hurling’ (lol) when I heard some 320 kb/s compressed audio some 10-15 years back.
For sure, with that frame of reference, I baked some ‘expectation bias’ into my current listening observations (regarding 96 kb/s + ‘streams’). Too funny.


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It’s called honesty- and nearing 40-years of genuine, authentic hi-fi experience/expertise.
I’ve long ago learned to “make” the more expensive stuff-recordings-formats prove its mettle.
Tidal is far from anything remotely resembling authentic, high-resolution performance (sound quality). In fact, it’s laughable.

But then again, my admittedly nascent computer audio/set-up skill may very well have something do with it (MPD 128 k/s ‘Streams’ sounding far superior than hi-rez Tidal).


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