Both Tidal and Pandora are quite popular in the music and audio streaming business. They are both evenly matched on several fronts and comparisons might boil down to tiny aspects and subjective arguments. In this in-depth comparison, we seek to pit Tidal vs Pandora from a broader perspective.
We shall compare all the important aspects between the two including things like; sound quality, libraries, ease of use, cost and anything else we think is important for this comparison. Both are great music audio streaming apps and both have their own loyal user base. So, let's try to keep this comparison as objective as possible by looking at the stats and using our expertise where applicable.
Pandora vs Tidal: Music Library
Let's kick off this comparison by pitting the two streaming apps' music libraries against each other.
Tidal, Jay Z brainchild may have gotten off to a slow start but its music library has quietly skyrocketed over the years. It now features over 60 million tracks and has some of the best Hip Hop, RnB and other exclusive content in the market. Tidal also has over 240,000 videos according to 2019 statistics by Consumer reports.
In comparison, Pandora's music library in 2019 is estimated at around 40 million tracks according to numbers published on various sites such as Wikipedia.
To be honest, the two apps fair quite well when it comes to their music libraries and the kind of audio content you can access on both platforms. Well, this is a tie if were to compare them based on music libraries.
Tidal vs Pandora Sound Quality
Both Tidal and Pandora have their own approach when it comes to sound quality in relation to subscriptions. That aside, we think Tidal has a slight edge over Pandora when it comes to Tidal vs Pandora sound quality. Here is why:
Both platforms are quite evenly matched when we compare the sound quality in the cheapest standard packages. However, it is when we look at the higher-priced premium offerings that we see Pandora lagging behind on sound quality. Tidal offers CD-quality high res 1411 kbps FLAC audio via HiFi on its highest subscription package and allows you to download Tidal MQA songs offline.
In comparison, Pandora mostly offers about 192kps mp3 audio quality on standard packages and really not comparable to the other streaming services regardless of the subscription package we are on. Data about the real bitrates on the Pandora platform is also quite sketchy, and users have different experiences with some reporting worse audio quality on mobile. There is one clear when we compare Tidal HiFi vs regular Pandora in this case.
Tidal vs Pandora: Music Discovery
We think Pandora reigns supreme when it comes to the AI and music discovery aspect. The Pandora algorithm does a beautiful job suggesting new tracks based on your previous selections and preferences. This gesture lets you easily find your favorites, ensuring that you only listen to what is pleasing to your ears. You can choose an artist you love to listen to, and Pandora will curate a list from the artiste's library and similar tracks from other musicians.
In comparison, Tidal doesn't really shine when it comes to music discovery. It may give you a few suggestions based on some indicators, but Tidal users are expected to be more hands-on when it comes to the artists they choose to listen to and curating their own libraries. The AI on Pandora is definitely superior to Tidal on several fronts, which is why we think Pandora is better on this aspect.
Payment Plans: Tidal vs Pandora Premium
Both Pandora and Tidal do offer free trials for new users, but how do they compare in terms of pricing for the premium accounts? Well, this is one area that most people will tend to argue since both services take a somewhat different approach to pricing. Some would say that Tidal is expensive with Tidal Premium and Tidal HiFi, but others would say it has more high-quality premium DRM content as compared to Pandora.
Pandora's lowest plan goes for $4.99 per month, while the next package dubbed Premium Plus goes for $9.99 per month. There is another package called Family package that goes for $14.99 per month. In comparison, Tidal's lowest-priced premium plan goes $10 with the next plan going for $20 per month. We'll leave you to decide which one you think offers value for money as each has a credible reason why they have priced their accounts that way.
Pandora vs Tidal: Ease of Use
Even though these two streaming music services are among the highly rated, Tidal vs Deezer have nothing in common when it comes to usability. Deezer has an easy-to-navigate kind of interface, inclusive of a lyrics feature. This lets you see the lyrics whenever you select a track to play. Furthermore, its appearance and interface are pretty clean with lots of space to make any good moves.
Besides predicting what you like, it is also available on mobile platforms and vehicles as an add-on. If there are some devices that are not compatible with Tidal app or Pandora app, you can refer to How to Download Pandora Music to record Pandora music to MP3, FLAC, etc. Meanwhile, you can also use AudFree Tidal Music Downloader to download and convert Tidal music to MP3, FLAC, etc. for playing on all devices without problem.
Tidal is available in 53 countries while Pandora still limits its users to a few countries. Nonetheless, there is a workaround that you can employ and get to obtain Pandora's services from any part of the world. That's a proxy service to mask your IP address and make you appear as though you are in the right territory. This limitation hasn't deterred Pandora lovers from getting full services.
In Conclusion: Pandora vs. Tidal Which One Carries the Day?
We think both streaming services are evenly matched in most aspects except pricing and music libraries. A closer look at Pandora vs Tidal has seen Tidal to have a superior music library and a lot more exclusive content as compared to Pandora. However, Pandora is no slouch as it has a far better algorithm making it shine in the music discovery department. Even though it is not available outside the US, users have always maneuvered their ways, going as far as masking their IP addresses to suit the recommended territories.