Apple is in talks to acquire the streaming music service Tidal, reports The Wall Street Journal. Citing people familiar with the matter, the outlet says the iPhone-maker is exploring the idea because of the service’s strong ties to artists.
Rap mogul Jay-Z bought Tidal in March 2015 for $56 million, and has since given 19 famous artists small stakes in the company. The current talks with Apple may not result in a deal, and it’s unknown what terms have been discussed.
Tidal charges $20 a month for a high-fidelity version of its 40 million-song catalog or $10 a month for standard-quality sound. Tidal said it has 4.2 million paying subscribers, most of whom it amassed this year with a string of exclusive releases from stars including Mr. West, Rihanna and Beyoncé, who is Jay Z’s wife.
Though it hasn’t generated significant revenue for the industry given its relatively low subscriber numbers, Tidal has an artist-friendly reputation, thanks to its artist ownership, high-quality sound and the fact that it only offers paid subscriptions, which generate far more for the industry than ad-supported services.
Of course a deal involving a rapper-owned streaming service is reminiscent of the infamous Beats buy, but Tidal doesn’t offer near as much. However, if Apple can grow its artist network and take out a competitor, a buy might make sense.
Source: The Wall Street Journal