Singtel ties up with Tidal to stream lossless hi-fi music on the go

December 2nd, 2016 | by Alfred Siew
Singtel ties up with Tidal to stream lossless hi-fi music on the go
PHOTO: Handout

PHOTO: Handout

Mobile users who want their music to be streamed in lossless, CD-quality can now enjoy their songs on the go with a new Singtel flat-rate offer.

The telecom operator is bringing the Tidal streaming service to subscribers for a monthly fee that doesn’t attract any mobile data charges.

The Tidal HiFi service, which offers 1,411Kbps lossless streaming audio, will cost audiophiles S$15.90 a month if they sign up for a 12-month contract. Otherwise, it goes for S$19.90 a month.

This is cheaper than signing up for the service yourself, which will cost you S$19.99 a month. And that doesn’t include free mobile data offered by Singtel.

There’s also a lower-quality service, called Tidal Premium, which streams at 320Kbps, similar to what is offered by other streaming services such as Spotify.

Tidal Premium is available to Singtel subscribers for S$7.90 a month with a 12-month contract and S$9.90 without one. Signing up directly with Tidal Singapore costs users S$9.99.

Tidal had quietly launched last year in Singapore, as Techgoondu first reported, but the streaming was initially patchy and its interface was rudimentary compared to more established rivals such as Spotify.

In the months since, it has improved on both counts, according to users who have subscribed to it.

For Singtel, streaming hi-fi quality tracks will be more demanding than regular ones that use up less bandwidth. It will have to ensure the experience is smooth for users.

The telco had earlier added Spotify, KKBOX and Saavn to its stable of music streaming apps that let users listen as much as they liked without worrying about mobile data charges.

As the first lossless offering in the lineup, Tidal could attract audiophiles looking for a large catalog of 42 million songs to enjoy on their high-quality headphones.

Even for those who don’t think the quality will shine through in a crowded train in a rush-hour commute, the cheaper offering will make sense if they are already on Singtel. After all, they can also stream the music at home, without worrying about data charges.

Singtel is not the only one to try locking in users through third-party music apps.

M1 had also entered into a deal earlier with Deezer to offer its Premium+ service for S$9.90 a month. That, however, offers regular-quality tracks instead of the lossless music that audio buffs crave.

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