Tidal’s New Apple Watch App Lets You Stream and Listen to Music Offline

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 25 May 2021

Music Streaming app Tidal has launched a new app for Apple Watch. The standalone app allows Apple Watch users to play offline music without the need for iPhone. Recently Spotify announced a similar feature. The Apple Watch app is available for premium Tidal users with subscription charges starting at $9.99/month.

Tidal has carved a niche for itself by offering lossless playback and hi-res streaming. The music streaming company faces stiff competition from Spotify’s lossless HiFi and upcoming Apple Music lossless streaming. It is worth noting that the music service on Apple Watch will be capped at a 96Kbps bitrate. In other words, your Apple Watch will not be able to play lossless and hi-res music. Tidal’s Apple Watch integration offers both offline and online music streaming.

Tidal is known for being artist-centric. An analysis by Digital Music News claims Tidal offers the best rate for artists instead of Spotify or Apple Music. Earlier this year, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s fintech company acquired a majority stake in Tidal for $297 million. Furthermore, Tidal is also working on innovative ways to help artists support their work.

Tidal offers two different subscription tiers. The Premium offers 320kbps audio quality delivered via AAC, which is classified as a lossy file format. Meanwhile, the Tidal HiFi is priced at $9.99/month and offers lossless, high-bitrate audio, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and Dolby Atmos Music. It offers 30 days trial for both Tidal Premium and Tidal HiFi.

In all likelihood, Spotify could charge more than $9.99 for its HiFi tier, and thus offer Tidal a price advantage. Over the past couple of years, Apple has been adding new standalone features to the Apple Watch and reducing the dependency on iPhone. Thanks to feature like offline music playback you can leave your iPhone at home while at gym.