Tidal’s new Live feature lets you host a live DJ session

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Tidal is rolling out a new feature that lets you act as a DJ and let your friends listen to your picks. The feature called Live is available to both HiFi ($9.99 per month) and HiFi Plus ($19.99 per month) subscribers to the streaming service.

This feature doesn’t work exactly like Spotify’s Group Sessions, which allows all participants to manage the song queue. Tidal’s Live feature puts one person in charge of song selection (the initiator) – they take care of the track listing. The company owned by Block has been testing it under the name “DJ” since last December, and now it’s rolling out to all users.

Users can create a session while listening to a song or playlist by tapping the Live button in the top right corner. They can name the session and share the link with their friends. Those friends can click the link to start listening to music if they are paying subscribers. If not, Tidal will ask them to join through a free trial.

Specifically, whatever is in the session creator’s “now playing” queue becomes part of the session. But they can edit this list if necessary to make it more suitable for a session’s theme. Tidal noted that the number of listeners in a session is responsible for the number of streams per song. So if five people listen to a song, it counts as five streams.

There is a caveat though. You can only create and listen to a session in your registered country. So you can’t have a listening party with your cross-border friends.

Image Credits: tides

Tidal says you’ll see several live sessions on the homepage, including those from the company’s curators and your friends. The company said it is “learning and experimenting” with the section to make it more relevant to a user.

“With Live we wanted to do a number of things. We thought music is something that should be easily shared. We wanted to create something for your family’s designated DJ or friend who is a tastemaker, who can easily showcase their taste. Think of this as a technical version of plugging in the aux cable at the party,” Agustina Sacerdote, global head of product at Tidal, told AapkaDost over the phone. (While the aux analogy is great, I’m not sure people are still dealing with it since our phones no longer have headphone jacks).

In terms of social features, users can only see how many people are tuned into a session. But there are no features like comments or comments. Sacerdote said the streaming service “provides” features such as giving thumbs-up or thumbs-down comments to the DJ’s choices.

Image Credits: tides

Aside from releasing the feature, Tidal said it’s focusing on supporting emerging artists. The company considers these artists small businesses and wants to help them manage these things. It leans on Block’s expertise in helping small businesses and aims to build on that for artists. Though Tidal hasn’t specified what tools it makes.

“We were very committed to this idea of ​​helping artists better manage and grow their businesses, which are essentially their fans. So you can imagine a world where Live becomes a tool for artists to manage and connect with their audiences,” said Sacerdote.

When AapkaDost asked if these tools would include things like merchandising, tickets, or NFTs, Tidal said “all those things aren’t out of the question,” but didn’t elaborate on plans to release one. In February, Spotify began testing NFT-gated playlists with select artists and crypto projects.

Last month, Tidal shut down its direct artist payout program in favor of an emerging artist project called Tidal Rising. The company has committed $5 million to this program and the money will be used to host workshops and help artists with studio recordings and promotional materials.

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