Earlier today, it had appeared that TIDAL had increased monthly subscription fees, but the company has since clarified that they "did not raise its rates" by 30%.
As hypebot.com had pointed out, TIDAL was believed to have quietly raised the prices on Monday, along with an iOS app upgrade that included “moving video front and center, addition of the music streamer's emerging artist program TIDAL Rising to the front page and several bug fixes.”
The price appeared to have risen from $9.99 a month to $12.99 a month for TIDAL Premium, and $19.99 a month to $25.99 a month for TIDAL HiFi. On tidal.com, however, the prices are still listed at their original figures, but if logging in via the app on iPhones, the increased prices are listed.
However, Carol Rogalski from Zebra Partners, the PR firm for TIDAL, has clarified that the prices have not changed. "Apple’s policy is to charge TIDAL subscribers a 30% fee on your monthly subscription, for the life of your subscription, if you activate your subscription through the TIDAL app on your iPhone that you have just downloaded," she told Gigwise. "You can easily get the $9.99 or $19.99 pricing by first creating your TIDAL account through TIDAL.com, then go to the App Store to download the TIDAL app. Once it’s downloaded you simply hit 'Login' instead of 'Sign Up' and you will be in the correct pricing plan."
"In a nutshell, no one, even iPhone users have to go through the Apple store", Rogalski continued. "They can still get the app through the TIDAL.com website at the same original prices."
In other TIDAL news, the company's new CEO Peter Tonstad recently discussed the streaming service with the Wall Street Journal, stating that he thought the initial launch event was “absolutely fantastic”.
“I thought it was extremely large of these global, well-known artists to step forward and say, ‘We need to change the model,’” he continued. “I don’t think they were thinking about themselves. I think they were thinking about the industry, about small, up-and-coming artists, about producers, everyone in the background who contributed to this music going live and getting into the market. Because the current model turns out to be unsustainable for new artists who don’t have distribution, or who don’t have any historical revenue streams to live on.”
He added that free streaming services such as Spotify are “slowing down streaming in terms of getting paying subscribers – this needs to change for the future. The whole industry is shifting toward the strategy we have always believed in: that streaming services should be premium subscription models rather than giving away stuff.”
When asked why users should sign up with TIDAL, Tonstad emphasized the fact that their content is exclusive, and that they focus on both up-and-coming artists and very established artists. “It’s going to be the content richness, deep-diving into individual artists” he said. “It’s going to be a combination of content and artist engagement that we put on the platform, or that the artists publish themselves.”
Jay Z announced earlier today that he will be performing a free concert in NYC on May 13, and that only TIDAL subscribers are eligible to apply for tickets. The concert will also be streamed live, exclusively on TIDAL.