In a deal that could potentially unite East Coast and West Coast rap under a single business interest, Apple is in talks to acquire Tidal, a streaming-music service run by rap mogul Jay Z. The Cupertino giant is hoping to bring Tidal under its Music banner because of its strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna.
Tidal was started by Swedish company Aspiro in October, 2014. It was then bought by Jay Z in March of 2015 for $56 million and is currently under development by his own development brand, Project Panther. The musician has since given 19 famous artists and bands small stakes in Tidal. This came along with the promise for millions of dollars of worth free marketing.
Tidal itself has been shopping for a while now and has bought many great assets. The fact that the company is now in talks with a potential buyer comes as no surprise, though. And although Tidal doesn’t have a lot to offer, there are many perks that Apple might be eyeing right now.
For one, Tidal has more than four million paying subscribers. The company doesn’t offer free services. Instead it charges $20 a month for a high-fidelity version of its 40 million-song catalog or $10 a month for standard-quality sound. The company also offers exclusive releases from stars including Mr. West, Rihanna and Beyoncé.
Another plus on Tidal’s features list is it is the only service offering the catalog of the late pop star Prince. Prince stayed his distance from other streaming services but had a close relationship with Jay Z.
The deal hasn’t yet been initiated and the two companies are apparently still in the exploratory talks stage.
The music streaming service has been going through management crisis for a while. It has had three chief executives, one of them interim and one appointed by prior management, in less than a year. Currently, Jeff Toig, former chief business officer of SoundCloud is leading the company.
Acquiring Tidal could be a great plus for Apple as the service has an artist-friendly reputation. This is a result of its artist ownership and high-quality sound. Another contributing factor is that it only offers paid subscriptions, which generate far more for the industry than ad-supported services.