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Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which is Better for You?

hanna ellis By Hanna Ellis
Updated on: April 23, 2024

When it comes to streaming music, Tidal and YouTube Music are two popular options that often leave users contemplating which one is the superior choice. While they share certain similarities, there are also notable differences that set them apart. By understanding these distinctions, we can determine which streaming service is better suited to our preferences.

In this article, we will conduct an in-depth comparison of Tidal and YouTube Music, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. By delving into the intricacies of these services, you will gain a clear understanding of whether Tidal or YouTube Music is the optimal choice for your music streaming needs. So, let's dive in and explore the key factors that set these platforms apart.

tidal vs youtube music

Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which Offers Better Content?

When it comes to content, both Tidal and YouTube Music have impressive libraries with millions of songs available.

Tidal offers a diverse music collection, featuring over 100 million tracks across 25 genres like Decades, R&B, K-pop, and more. It also includes an extensive video library with over 650 thousand videos. In addition to songs, playlists, podcast episodes, albums, and artists, Tidal even provides audiobooks. One unique aspect of Tidal is its cross-genres section, which offers a blend of different music genres.

Besides, Tidal is known for its artist-centric approach, offering exclusive content such as curated playlists, original videos, live concerts, and backstage footage. This focus on the artist's perspective adds a unique element to the content offered by Tidal, appealing to music enthusiasts who want more than just the songs themselves.

music content

Similarly, YouTube Music has a vast music library with over 100 million songs spanning 28 genres. However, being developed from YouTube, the popular video platform, YouTube Music stands out by offering millions of official and unofficial free videos, including music videos, podcasts, and interviews. An important feature of YouTube Music is that all its content is accompanied by high-definition videos. Additionally, YouTube Music introduced the Decades catalog, which encompasses music from the 1960s to 2010s, allowing music enthusiasts to revisit and enjoy older and classic tracks.

YouTube Music leverages its vast database of user-generated content and extensive music video library to provide a diverse range of recommendations. It not only suggests popular tracks but also takes into account emerging artists, live performances, and covers. This comprehensive approach to content discovery sets YouTube Music apart, especially for those who enjoy visual elements alongside their music.

Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which is More Intelligent in Music Discovery?

Music discovery is a crucial aspect of any streaming platform, as it allows users to explore new artists and genres. In terms of music discovery, YouTube Music has a significant advantage.

Thanks to its integration with YouTube, the platform uses advanced algorithms that consider not only the audio tracks but also the vast collection of music videos available. This combination allows YouTube Music to provide tailored recommendations based on users' listening habits and preferences. Whether you're looking for the latest chart-toppers or uncovering hidden gems, YouTube Music offers a highly intelligent music discovery experience.

music discovery

Tidal, while still delivering personalized recommendations, primarily focuses on its curated content and exclusive releases. While this can be appealing to those who enjoy a more handcrafted approach, it may not offer the same depth and breadth of music discovery as YouTube Music.

Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which Provides Higher Audio Quality?

Audio Settings Tidal YouTube Music
Automatic / /
Low / 48kbps
Normal 96kbps 128kbps
High 320kbps 256kbps
Very High / 256kbps
HiFi 1411kbps /
HiFi Plus 2304-9216kbps /

For audiophiles and those who prioritize audio quality, Tidal is the clear winner. Tidal is renowned for its emphasis on high-fidelity (HiFi) sound, offering lossless audio streaming and even providing access to master-quality audio tracks. This commitment to audio quality makes Tidal the go-to choice for those who want to experience their music in the best possible way.

In comparison, YouTube Music offers a maximum bitrate of 256 kbps, which is lower than the audio quality provided by Tidal. While this may be sufficient for most listeners, it falls short when compared to the premium audio quality offered by Tidal.

Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which Supports Offline Download Feature?

Both Tidal and YouTube Music offer an offline download feature for its subscribers. Subscribers can download songs from Tidal or YouTube Music to listen to them without an internet connection.


1. For YouTube Music, the offline download feature is not available for YouTube Music Free users. It’s for users with a YouTube Premium or YouTube Music Premium subscription only.

2. The offline download feature is only accessible on mobile devices but not available on the desktop version of Tidal or YouTube Music (DO NOT OFFER DESKTOP CHOICE).

3. You'll need to reconnect to the internet at least once every 30 days to maintain your downloads.

How to Download Tidal/YouTube Music to MP3 on Local PC/Mac Computer?

Whether you're a subscriber of Tidal or a user of YouTube Music, both platforms offer the ability to download music for offline streaming. However, it's important to note that these downloads are saved as cache files, which restricts your ability to copy or transfer them to other devices for regular playback.

For those seeking to convert Tidal or YouTube Music to MP3 on PC/Mac, Sidify All-In-One is the ideal solution. This comprehensive tool enables users to effortlessly extract MP3 files from a wide range of popular streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, YouTube Music, and many more.

With support for various audio formats (MP3/AAC/WAV/FLAC/AIFF/ALAC) and batch conversion capabilities, you can easily convert multiple songs or entire playlists with high-quality output and preserved ID3 tags. The software operates at a 10X faster conversion speed, ensuring a seamless and efficient experience.

Step 1Select Tidal/YouTube Music Platform to log in and access Music Library.

sidify all-in-one

Step 2Click the Settings icon in the lower-left corner, choose MP3 output format and customize the output path.


Step 3Open a Tidal/YouTube Music playlist, click the Add button to put the playlist in the list to be converted.

add music to sidify

Step 4Click the Convert button to start exporting the Tidal/YouTube music as .mp3 files.

convert music to mp3

Step 5Once the conversion is done, click the Converted tab on the left panel and you can find & locate the Tidal/YouTube Music MP3 downloads.

find music downloads

Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which is More Cost-Effective?

Cost is an important consideration when choosing a music streaming service. Both Tidal and YouTube Music offer different pricing tiers to accommodate various budgets.

Pricing Tidal YouTube Music
Free No Yes
Individual $10.99/month / $19.99/month for HiFi Plus $10.99/month
Family $16.99/month $16.99/month
Student $4.99/month / $9.99/month $5.49/month
Others Military HiFi & First Responders HiFi 40% OFF /

YouTube Music allows free streaming with occasional ad interruptions, while Tidal doesn't have a completely free option. Instead, Tidal provides a 30-day trial, but after that, you need to subscribe to continue streaming.

Both Tidal and YouTube Music have a starting price of $10.99 per month. Tidal Music's student plan is slightly cheaper, costing $4.99, whereas YouTube Music's student plan is priced at $5.49.

If you're willing to pay $19.99 per month, Tidal's HiFi Plus plan offers higher-quality audio. On the other hand, YouTube Music doesn't have a dedicated higher-quality audio option, but you can consider subscribing to YouTube Premium for $13.99, which not only includes all the music but also gives you access to exclusive content and videos on YouTube, potentially providing better value for money.

Tidal vs. YouTube Music: Which Should You Go For?

Overview Tidal YouTube Music
Music Library 100+ millions 100+ millions
Highest Audio Quality 1411kbps / 9216kbps 256kbps
Pricing $10.99/month / $19.99/month $10.99/month
Offline Mode Yes (limited to mobile devices) Yes (Only available on mobile devices)

Choosing between Tidal and YouTube Music ultimately depends on your priorities and preferences. If you value exclusive content, an artist-centric approach, and high-fidelity audio, Tidal may be the ideal choice for you. Its commitment to audio quality and curated content make it stand out among music streaming services.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more comprehensive music discovery experience, visual elements alongside your music, and a cost-effective option, YouTube Music is worth considering. Its integration with YouTube's vast library and intelligent recommendations make it a great platform for exploring new music.

* It's worth noting that as a Tidal or YouTube Music subscriber, your ability to download music from the platform is limited to offline streaming on mobile devices. However, if you find yourself in need of downloading Tidal or YouTube Music to your PC/Mac or converting them to MP3 format, Sidify All-In-One can be a valuable tool to assist you in achieving these tasks seamlessly.

Consider your preferences for content, music discovery, audio quality, and budget to determine which platform aligns better with your needs. Both Tidal and YouTube Music have their strengths, so choose the one that best suits your musical taste and listening habits.

author avatar

Hanna Ellis | Content Writer

Hanna Ellis is an experienced writer with a strong passion for technology, music, and software. Her experience allows her to skillfully infuse her passion into her writing, creating comprehensive, informative, and practical content that appeals to a wide range of audiences.