Digital music streaming service TIDAL is rolling out its Live feature to all users, allowing them to act as a DJ with their friends and family.
After months of testing the feature under the “DJ” moniker, TIDAL is now rolling it out to all users on their HiFi or HiFi Plus plans.
Live takes a different approach than Spotify’s Group Sessions, which lets each participant tweak the playlist. Instead, with TIDAL Live, one person will be in control of the song queue.
Notably with DJ, though, is how TIDAL treats the streaming revenue generated by the listening session. For every listener in the listening session, the play will count as one stream. For example, if there are 15 people in your listening session and you play Whyte Fang’s “Genesis,” that play will count as 15 streams.
To initiate a listening session, simply tap the Live button at the top-right corner. From there, you’ll be able to name the session and share it with your friends to join in, if they have a HiFi or HiFi Plus account. If not, TIDAL will request they begin a free trial. Users are able to begin a listening session while listening to any song or playlist.
“With Live we wanted to do a couple of things. We thought music is something that should be easily shared,” Agustina Sacerdote, TIDAL’s global head of product, told TechCrunch. “We wanted to create something for your family’s designed DJ or a friend who is a tastemaker, who can easily showcase their taste. Think of this as a tech-enabled version of connecting the aux cable at the party.”
Currently, listeners of a Live are unable to interact with the DJ; there’s no ability to react or comment, but TIDAL is “envisioning” features like thumbs-up and thumbs-down listeners that can be seen by the DJ, Sacerdote adds.
TIDAL’s majority owner is Block, Inc (formerly Square, Inc), so the company is leaning heavily into Block’s resources for small business owners to help musicians alike. After all, being a musician is a business.
“We were very committed to this notion of helping artists better manage and grow their business, which is effectively their fans,” Sacerdote adds. “So you can imagine a world in which Live becomes a tool with which artists manage and connect with their audiences.”