August 4th, 2023
Given MQA's uncertain future TIDAL is pivoting to use the industry standard FLAC format for subscribers versus MQA contents. If you haven't read about MQA's current situation here is a recent statement from MQA themselves.
Following the recent positive reception to MQA’s latest technology (SCL6), there has been increased international interest in buying MQA Ltd. At the same time, MQA’s main financial backer is seeking an exit. In order to be in the best position to pursue market opportunities and expedite this process, the company has undergone a restructuring initiative, which includes entering into administration and is comparable to Chapter 11 in the US. During this process, MQA continues to trade as usual alongside its partners. We won't be commenting further while negotiations take place.
Tidal CEO Jesse Dorogusker recently took to Reddit for an “Ask Me Anything” session — a pre-scheduled time during which community members on the website can engage directly with public figures. Naturally, MQA’s announcement left many Tidal subscribers wondering what would happen if MQA really is a sinking ship, and these questions flooded Reddit during Dorogusker’s session. Here is his response, which included some surprising information about Tidal’s future in the high-res audio space:
So many questions about MQA and hi-resolution audio. I hope we don't spend all of our time on audio format details, but it’s an AMA and you’re asking. TIDAL has cared about high quality and even experimental audio formats long before it was cool or common among music streamers. Why? Because artists take care when making their art and they want/hope to present their work in the best light (whatever they think that is exactly). We also live in a world that is mobile-dominated and mobile phones have constraints in memory, data plans, coverage maps — so there's always a consideration for the customer’s need between more quality and more bandwidth/storage efficiency. Breaking news for my reddit peeps: we will be introducing hi-res FLAC for our HiFi Plus subscribers soon. It’s lossless and an open standard. It’s a big file, but we’ll give you controls to dial this up and down based on what's going on.
— Jesse Dorogusker, CEO of Tidal