A report from Thursday claims Apple is in talks to grab up rapper Jay Z’s Tidal streaming music service. The Wall Street Journal, citing the ever popular “people familiar with the matter,” says the talks are exploratory, and a deal might not close.
Tidal, which launched in 2014 and was acquired by Jay Z in January of 2015 before a March 2015 re-launch, is a subscription-based music service that advertises high-quality lossless audio and high-definition music videos. Tidal offers two tiers of service, a standard premium option for $9.99 per month and HiFi for $19.99 per month. Tidal has 4.2 million paying subscribers, and as of March, 45 percent of those subscribers paid extra for the hi-fidelity tier.
A Tidal spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that executives from the streamer had not held talks with Apple.
Tidal has had a bit of a tempestuous relationship with Apple in the past. February of this year, Apple though they were about to lock down exclusive debut rights to Kanye West’s album, “The Life of Pablo,” but West eventually opted to debut the album on Jay Z’s service.
One reason why Apple is said to be considering an acquisition of Tidal is the streaming firm’s strong connection to such artists as Kanye, Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, and others. (I’m sure we forgot to list a couple of other one-name artists they’re connected with… -Ed.) The lure of being able to offer exclusive content from those artists, would be an attractive possibility for Apple, and its own Apple Music streaming service.
Back in March, Tidal announced they had a paid subscriber base of 3 million users after one year of operation. That number was far below Apple Music’s then 11 million subscribers and Spotify’s 30 million subs.