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Apple Plans Grab for Jay Z's Tidal

Apple Plans Grab for Jay Z's Tidal
Apple Music could benefit from exclusive streaming deals if reported talks lead to a deal for Apple to buy Tidal.

(CCM) — Apple is planning to give its Apple Music service a major boost by buying Tidal, a rival music-streaming service run by rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sources told the paper that the two companies are holding "exploratory talks" that may lead to a deal. Tidal is co-owned by artists including Madonna, Kanye West, Beyonce, and Rihanna, and its acquisition by Apple would make it easier for Apple Music to offer exclusive content by these artists. Doing so would provide Apple Music with a strong selling point as it battles with Spotify for subscribers. Artists including Prince and Rihanna have already offered music exclusively on Tidal; however, Tidal is believed to pay artists twice the industry standard royalty for steamed music, which could prove to be a barrier to any deal with Apple.

Tidal announced that it had three million subscribers to its streaming service at the end of March, making the user base relatively small compared to Apple Music, which has over 13 million paying subscribers. Both are dwarfed by Spotify, which is believed to have over 30 million paying subscribers. Its industry advantage did not dissuade Spotify from recently accusing Apple of being a bad competitor after Apple's decision not to approve the latest version of Spotify's app in the App Store.

Photo: © Tidal.
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