Tidal Hits One Million MQA Tracks

All part of the 'Blueprint'?

by Aaron Macarthy Beards
SRP: £19.99
Tidal has always had a decent number of hi-resolution audio tracks. However, starting today, the service’s library of studio-quality music now numbers over a million.
This is thanks to its growing library of MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) tracks. MQA is an audio codec, developed by Meridian Audio, that supports studio-quality audio at 96kHz/24 bit. That’s higher quality than CDs, which are 44.1kHz/16bit.

The majority of the songs in Tidal's library are CD quality but 1 million tracks in MQA is still impressive since Tidal only started adding MQA audio back in January 2017. Since then, the number of Hi-Res tracks has risen from, around 30,000 to more than 1 million.

Whilst Tidal offers a streaming package for £10 month, this is only for MP3 levels of quality. For users who want to access the catalogue in CD and MQA quality, they must be a Tidal HiFi subscriber. Such a subscription costs £20 a month. To play back MQA files, users must use Tidal’s desktop app.

Tidal Music Streaming Service

The company, originally created in Sweden, has not always had an easy time. In 2015, the company was bought for $56.2 million by the Rapper, Jay-Z. However, legal disputes have raged between the current and former owners over claims of overstating subscriber numbers during the sale. In 2017, US mobile carrier Sprint announced that they were buying a 33 percent stake in the company.

Tidal have faced several financial warnings over the past few years. In 2014, the company lost $10.4 million, rising to $28 million in 2015 and in 2016 they lost $44 million. However, putting this in perspective, Spotify lost $581.4 million in 2016, alone.

Clearly music streaming companies, for the moment, are focusing on technological and user growth, over profit.

Does Tidal's 1 million strong MQA library offer a compelling reason to commit to a HiFi plan? Or will Tidal continue to struggle, with many consumers preferring cheaper prices, over higher quality?
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