Unlike Spotify, TIDAL isn’t backed by billions of private equity money. And unlike Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon Prime, it’s not got a multi-national giant bankrolling its every move.
These realities, combined with the tough economics of pureplay music streaming, mean that many believe TIDAL will have to sell at some point.
Now we might just know who’s going to take it off the block.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is in talks with Jay Z and his management team with a view to potentially acquiring the music streaming platform.
The news comes just three months after Samsung publicly stated that it had no plans to acquire TIDAL – despite rumours swirling that it had kicked the tyres of the company.
In many ways, Apple is a better fit for TIDAL. Both companies have built an audience of paying subscribers; both have relied heavily on streaming exclusives – and both have explicitly focused on the worlds of R&B and hip-hop in order to do so.
In Apple’s case, it has ‘won’ windowed new releases from the likes of Drake and Snoop Dogg, while TIDAL has recently held down long-term streaming exclusives from Kanye West and Beyonce.
Apple attempted to attract Kanye West to Apple Music for the release of the star’s latest album, The Life Of Pablo, in February, but the artist resolutely stuck with TIDAL.
“He wanted to work with his friend – it’s that simple,” Jimmy Iovine told Rolling Stone this month.
In March, TIDAL told us it had three million subscribers worldwide – a figure which would since have been significantly boosted by the release of Beyonce’s Lemonade.Music Business Worldwide