Apple is in discussions with Tidal about purchasing its Music Streaming App. Tidal offers exclusives and early releases from big artists like Beyonce and Kanye West. The Wall Street Journal reports that the talks are still early and might not end in a deal, but Apple surely is in dying need to boost up its Apple Music streaming App which is presently facing stiff competition with spotify.
Legendary rapper Jay Z bought Tidal for $56 million in March 2015, then revamped it with a set of landmark partnerships with some of the biggest names in music, including venture as co-owners: Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Arcade fire, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Jack White, J. Cole, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher. Since then, Tidal has been preventing Apple from winning exclusives of its own like the release of Drake’s most recent album. So what’s the point if you can’t beat them, buy them.
Tidal made these stars co-owners in exchange for them giving. That arrangement seemed unlikely to pan out at first. But Tidal was the only place to stream Kanye’s new album “Life Of Pablo” for several weeks. It still is the only place you can stream Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade”.
Even if it had to pay a steep price for Tidal, its exclusives could give it a big edge over Spotify. Which has concentrated on listening features like Discover Weekly instead. Music could play a very huge part in the future of Apple’s flagship iphones.
If Apple does buy Tidal, it could be good for listeners, who are facing a balkanized music catalog divided between the different streaming apps. To listen to the new Drake and the new Kanye, you’d need two almost entirely redundant $10 per month subscriptions.
Apple Music now has 15 million paying subscribers, compared to Spotify’s 30 million paying subscribers and 100 million active listeners. Apple Music Streaming App has been growing fast. But the company might want to buy Tidal to accelerate user acquisition of people who’ve never really used streaming services.