Tidal Launches “Live” Feature Allowing Users to Host DJing Sessions

Image cred: Tidal

Tidal, the music streaming service owned by Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, has rolled out a new feature called “Live” that enables users to host their own DJing sessions and share their music choices with friends. The feature is available to both HiFi and HiFi Plus subscribers, and puts one person in charge of the song selection while others listen in.

Unlike Spotify’s Group Sessions, which allows all participants to control the song queue, Tidal’s Live feature is a little more limited. The person who initiates the session handles the track listing, and others can only listen in. However, Tidal has been testing the feature under the “DJ” moniker since December 2022, and is now rolling it out to all users.

Using the Live feature is simple. While listening to a song or playlist, users can tap the Live button in the top-right corner of the screen to create a session. They can then name the session and share the link with their friends. Those friends can click on the link to start listening to music if they are paying subscribers. If they’re not subscribers, Tidal will ask them to join via a free trial.

Notably, whatever is in the session creator’s “now playing” queue becomes part of the session. However, they can edit this list to make it more suitable to the session’s theme if needed. Tidal has stated that the number of listeners in a session accounts for the number of streams per song. So if five people are listening to a track, it counts as five streams.

However, there is a caveat to this feature. Users can only create and listen to a session in their registered country. So it is not possible to have a listening party with cross-border friends.

In addition to letting users host their own DJing sessions, Tidal is also showcasing live sessions on its homepage, including those by the company’s curators and users’ friends. Tidal has said that it is “learning and experimenting” with this section to make it more relevant to users.

Tidal’s global head of product, Agustina Sacerdote, said, “With Live, we wanted to do a couple of things. We thought music is something that should be easily shared. We wanted to create something for your family’s designated 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.”

Tidal has also committed to supporting rising artists through its Tidal Rising project, which it sees as a way to help these artists manage and grow their business. The company is leaning on Block’s expertise in helping small businesses and wants to build on that for artists. Although Tidal did not specify what tools it is making available to artists, Sacerdote said, “You can imagine a world in which Live becomes a tool with which artists manage and connect with their audiences.”

Finally, when asked if Tidal’s tools would include things like merchandising, tickets, or NFTs, the company said, “All those things are not out of the question,” but did not elaborate on any plans to release them.

In summary, Tidal’s new Live feature is a great way for users to share their music choices with friends and family. The feature is limited compared to Spotify’s Group Sessions, but it is still a step in the right direction. Tidal is also committed to supporting rising artists and is exploring ways to help them grow their business. If you’re a Tidal subscriber, give the Live feature a try and see how it works for you!

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