According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is in talks to buy Jay Z’s Tidal Music Service. Tidal, which was purchased by Jay Z to provide streaming music that paid the artists fairly for use of their music. He bought the service for $56 million rebranded it with a set of partnerships with well known artists 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.
In exchange for co ownership, the artists gave Tidal it first crack at releasing their music. While that arrangement seemed unlikely to pan out at first, Tidal was the only place to stream Kanye’s new album “Life Of Pablo” for several weeks, and is still the only place you can stream Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade”.
Apple has been pushing to score exclusives of its own, like the release of Drake’s most recent album.
By buying Tidal, Apple would gain a huge advantage over other streaming services, such as Spotify’
If Apple does buy Tidal, it could be good for listeners, who are facing a separated music catalog divided between the different streaming apps.
Apple Music now has 15 million paying subscribers, compared to Spotify’s 30 million paying subscribers and 100 million active listeners. While Apple Music has been growing fast, the company might want to buy Tidal to accelerate user acquisition of people who’ve never really used streaming services.