A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tidal is a subscription music-streaming service that provides lossless audio and high-definition video, which means no quality is lost when the files are compressed. The service also pays the highest royalty percentage to artists. It's a totally ad-free, subscription-only service, but teens can try it for free for 30 days. Rapper Jay-Z bought the company and released the app in March 2015, signing several big-name partners, including Beyoncé, Daft Punk, and Jason Aldean, who provide exclusive content only for Tidal subscribers. Parents need to know that there's no filter or label for explicit content, and the terms of service specify it is not for kids under 13 and that teens 13–17 must use the app with parental permission. Unlike a service such as Pandora, it offers songs and videos, so explicit content can be heard and seen. Teens can share videos via social media, but that can be disabled in the settings.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
TIDAL monthly subscriptions range from $9.99 for regular-quality sound to $19.99 for lossless audio. Users get access to 25 million tracks, including playlists curated by artists. Teens can create their own playlists or mark songs as favorites for easier playback. They can download songs for offline listening too. Selections are browsable by genre and searchable by title or artist. Tidal Rising features content from up-and-coming artists, and Tidal Discovery features independent artists who have uploaded their own songs.
Is it any good?
Some music aficionados will love the high-quality sound and video available with Tidal, and they are likely to be the most willing to pay the subscription rates; however, some people feel the sound quality will be lost on the average listener. Some criticize the lack of ad-supported free options, whereas others prefer ad-free listening. Expect increased download and buffering times over wireless networks, since the high-quality files take longer to access. Teens will need to put in some up-front effort to set up their personal playlists, unless they want to listen to featured lists. Discovering other music isn't quite as easy as with other radio apps, but being able to download songs for offline listening is handy. It'd be nice to have some kind of filter for explicit lyrics to make this more teen-friendly.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (30-day free trial then $9.99-19.99/month)
- Release date: May 11, 2015
- Category: Music
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Size: 26.80 MB
- Publisher: Aspiro Music AS
- Version: 1.5.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: June 23, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.