Plex and Tidal have now partnered up to offer Plex users an easier way to take advantage of the Tidal music streaming service, and in some respects, save on the cost in the process. As today's announcement confirms Plex users will now be able to access Tidal directly from within the Plex ecosystem. What's more the two have coupled their subscription plans resulting in access to premium features offered by both with prices starting from $9.99 per month in the US. Those who are already Plex Pass members can also take advantages of the savings with their combined subscription plan options starting at $8.99 per month. Considering a Tidal subscription on its own starts at $9.99 per month, one way of looking at the combined plans is that you are gaining access to additional Plex features for free.
The $8.99 and $9.99 plans are just the baseline packages with Plex now offering varying options to suit different budgets, with the company stating that savings of up to $40 per year can be had when compared to paying for a subscription to each of the different services individually. Similar to most subscription services, the new 'Plex x Tidal' option is available with a free 30-day trial for users to see if the closer integration between the two works for them, and the trial-period can be taken advantage of starting from today within the Plex app.
Background: Over the past year Plex has been making a number of moves designed to better integrate third-party content into its apps and ecosystem with a view to keeping users in Plex. This has routinely come through in updates similar to this which increase the third-party content in a specific way. For example, access to news-based content became available through Plex in the second half of 2017 and this was then followed in March by access to third-party podcasts. Even more recently, Plex added third-party web show access to its service. All of which has been added along with the intention to ensure Plex becomes a one-stop solution for users. This latest move by the company continues that trend with Tidal now getting a tighter integration which further allows Plex users to remain within the company's ecosystem, but still have access to additional content.
Thanks to the new integration, Plex has confirmed that in addition to access to the full Tidal back catalog through its app, users will be able to make use of some additional software tweaks to enhance the experience in general, as well as find new music to listen to. These include recommendations on artists the user might be interested in (based on their current listening habits), as well as album recommendations from artists already in the user's library. This is in addition to an enhanced radio listening experience which combines content from the user's Plex account with Tidal, and the ability for the user to create their own playlists which also combines content from both Plex and Tidal.
Impact: The benefit of this integration from the end user perspective will largely come down to how important access to Tidal is to any particular user. Compared to other streaming music services, Tidal is certainly not the most popular and those users already tied into subscriptions elsewhere will find this integration to probably be quite pointless. Although, if they are already a Plex subscriber then they might find the savings offered through a combined subscription to be more worthwhile and possible even motivation enough to consider switching streaming services over to Tidal. Likewise, this also might appeal to anyone who might not have yet sided with a particular streaming service, with the decreased price and the better ability to integrate streaming access content with their own library selling points enough to give Tidal a try.
The option to increase user-ship will be of importance to Tidal, and most likely why the music streaming service has embarked in this partnership in the first place. As the service has endured a fairly turbulent time of late due to various disagreements it has reportedly had with record labels over royalties. An issue which is said to have emerged as a direct result of financial issues suffered by the service. So gaining more users will be essential to Tidal going forward, to ensure it remains viable and is generating enough revenue to turn a profit, let alone pay costs associated with running the service in the first place. This particular type of integration is certainly one way in which Tidal might be able to achieve higher user numbers, as the easier ability to access the service through existing devices (and other services) provides yet another motivation for new users to test out what Tidal has to offer. In fact, Tidal announced a very similar partnership earlier in the month where an Alexa skill had been created to allow Tidal users to access its service through Alexa-enabled devices. Now with Plex integration on board as well, in the past month alone Tidal has significantly increased the ways in which its services can be accessed by consumers, and at the same time tapped in to the two new and popular user bases made up of potential new users.
Of course, if you already happen to be an active Plex user and a Tidal subscriber then this is likely to prove the most beneficial to you as as the whole point here is to bring the two interfaces together under one. So you can expect a much improved user experience which effectively lets you combine your own content housed in Plex with that of Tidal, and all without having to exit the Plex app and interface. The update to the service is understood to be live today and so Tidal subscribers should be able to immediately make use of the integration when next accessing the Plex service as well as setup a combined plan if wanted. More details on the partnership, the interface update, as well as the pricing for the new combined packages can be accessed via the Plex blog.