Tidal launches new family plan -- still not cheaper than Apple Music

Adding a family member to your Tidal plan will cost $5 on top of your $10 monthly subscription, similar to Spotify and Rdio but nowhere near as affordable as Apple Music.


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Exclusive Rihanna videos apparently were not enough, so Tidal has begun cost-cutting to lure in new listeners.

The celeb-owned streaming service has introduced a family tier to its Premium and HiFi subscriptions. Starting today you can add a family member to your account for half the price of the original subscription cost. For Tidal Premium, this means that adding a family member will cost $5 extra a month, in addition to the $10 monthly subscription cost. Tidal has a limit of five family members in its new family plan.

The Verge notes that the Tidal Premium family plan is more or less the exact price of family plans offered by Spotify and Rdio, although Spotify has signaled that it will lower its price to remain competitive. Apple Music is still the most affordable option for a household full of audiophiles. It offers a $15-a-month plan for up to six family members. 

For Tidal HiFi, the $20-a-month subscription that offers “lossless” audio quality, adding a family member will cost an additional $10 a month. Tidal’s the only streaming service to offer this high-fidelity, CD-quality sound. But as my colleague Caitlin McGarry previously noted, many listeners don’t care enough about “lossless” audio quality (or can tell the difference) to justify the $20 subscription tier. And even paying half that much to bring in a new family member may be too much considering said family member will just be listening to “Let It Go” on repeat.

Why this matters: With music services introducing new features and integrations in the wake of Apple Music, it’s interesting that Jay Z and his celebrity co-owners have responded with introducing a family plan. If anything, Tidal’s new family plan option simply underscores how cheap and simple Apple Music’s family tier is. However, to take advantage of Apple Music’s generous $15-a-month family plan, you have to use Family Sharing, which ties all the members to one credit card for App Store and iTunes purchases.

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