Tidal’s music sharing play

Can Tidal prove that playing nice with others is the right move?

Sharing links cross-platform is often irritating, taking your friends to the home page and not the link in question or requiring them to log in.

Two women listen to music via headphones, a line of musical notes connecting them.

But Tidal just rolled out universal links, per The Verge. This allows music lovers to share tracks with friends on multiple platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.


… is a little guy as far as music streaming services are concerned.

It began as a small Norwegian streaming service until Jay-Z bought it in 2015, rebranding it as an artist-owned platform. That didn’t pan out, and in 2021, Block Inc. (formerly Square) paid $297m for majority ownership.

As of 2022, it held less than 2% of market share, despite higher-quality audio and more lucrative payout tiers for artists.

Why it’s interesting

Both individual consumers and government regulators are growing weary of big platforms and their difficult-to-leave walled gardens.

We’re seeing big antitrust crackdowns in both the EU and US, plus a rising interest in the fediverse, a collection of interoperable social media platforms. Even Meta added Threads, its Twitter rival, to the fediverse.

While there are decentralized music platforms, such as Funkwhale, some users find the sign-up process intimidating or the music selection limiting.

Tidal’s move could build goodwill among potential customers looking to ditch larger companies, and their ever-increasing costs, for something novel that doesn’t feel like yet another closed-off subscription.

Fun fact: There are a few other ways to listen to links on your preferred platform. Wired offers four here.

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