On Wednesday, Norwegian company Aspiro launched its high-fidelity TIDAL music streaming service in Canada.
Unlike similar services like Spotify and Rdio, the service allows users to stream lossless FLAC music tracks at a bitrate of 1.4Mbits.
Of course, the improvement in quality comes at a cost; subscribing to TIDAL will currently set a user back $20 a month. Moreover, there’s no free, ad-supported streaming option like with Rdio or Spotify.
Because of that lack of a free tier, the other advantage TIDAL is claiming over Spotify is that its users will be able to find the music of one Taylor Swift on the service—though those interested in listening to Swift’s new album, 1989, will have to look elsewhere.
Still, it’s probably going to take more than Taylor Swift to help the service reach mainstream appeal. In 2014, Aspiro reported that TIDAL had 17,000 paying subscribers. In contrast, Spotify has about 15 million subscribers. Earlier this year, Swift and her labelmates removed their music from Spotify in protest over low royalty rates for the service’s free tier.
Of course, when it comes to achieving global dominance, it can’t hurt to have the help of Jay Z, who acquired the company for a reported $56 million this past January.
TIDAL is currently offering a seven day trial to those who are interested in checking out the service. Aspiro also has iOS and Android apps TIDAL users can use to stream music.
Last week, competitor Deezer launched its high-quality streaming service, Deezer Elite, exclusively with support for Sonos speakers. Deezer Elite also boats FLAC streaming up to 1411kbps, and existing members can get $5 off the $19.99/month price.