Tidal’s new live feature will let you host a live DJ session
Tidal is rolling out a new feature that lets you act as a DJ and let your friends listen to your picks. The feature called Live is available to HiFi ($9.99 per month) and HiFi Plus ($19.99 per month) subscribers of the streaming service.
This feature doesn’t exactly work like Spotify’s group sessions, which allow everyone in the group to control the song queue. Tidal’s Live feature puts one person in charge of song selection (the initiator) – they manage the track list. The Block-owned company has been testing it as “DJ” since last December, and it’s now rolling out to all users.
Users can create a session while listening to any song or playlist by tapping the Live button in the upper right corner. They can name the session and share the link with their friends. These friends can click start listening to music if they are paid subscribers. Otherwise, Tidal will ask them to join via a free trial.
Notably, anything in the session creator’s currently playing queue becomes part of the session. But they can modify this list to make it more relevant to the theme of a session if necessary. Tidal noted that the number of listeners in a session represents the number of streams per song. So if five people listen to a track, that counts as five streams.
There is, however, a caveat. You can only create and listen to a session in your country of registration. So you can’t organize a listening party with your cross-border friends.
Tidal says you’ll see different live sessions on the homepage, including those from company curators and your friends. The company said it was “learning and experimenting” with the section to make it more relevant to a user.
“With Live, we wanted to do several things. We thought music should be easily shared. We wanted to create something for the designated DJ in your family or a friend who is a taste maker, who can easily showcase their tastes. Think of it as a tech take on connecting the aux cable to the party,” Agustina Sacerdote, global product manager at Tidal, told TechCrunch in a call. (While the auxiliary analogy is great, I’m not sure people relate to it yet given that our phones no longer have headphone jacks).
In terms of social features, users can only see the number of people logged into a session. But there are no features like reactions or comments. Sacerdote said the streaming service is “considering” features such as giving positive or negative feedback to DJ picks.
Besides releasing the feature film, Tidal said it is focused on supporting up-and-coming artists. The company sees these artists as small businesses and wants to help them manage this stuff. He relies on Block’s expertise to help small businesses and wants to leverage it for artists. Although Tidal hasn’t specified which tools it makes.
“We were very attached to this notion of helping artists to better manage and develop their business, which is in fact their fans. So you can imagine a world in which Live becomes a tool with which artists manage and connect with their audience,” said Sacerdote.
When TechCrunch asked if those tools would include things like merchandising, tickets, or NFTs, Tidal said “all of those things aren’t out of the question,” but didn’t say whether it plans to release them. . In February, Spotify began testing NFT playlists with select artists and crypto projects.
Last month, Tidal ended its direct-to-artist program in favor of an emerging artist project called Tidal Rising. The company has committed $5 million to this program, and the money will be used to run workshops and help artists with studio recordings and promotional materials.
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