According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is in talks to acquire TIDAL.
The discussions may not lead to a deal, sources claim, but it seems Apple is interested in TIDAL’s relationship with artists. Jay Z, who purchased TIDAL in 2015, is not suing the company that sold the service to him over inflated subscriber numbers. TIDAL itself is being sued by artists for not paying royalties, too.
This is on the back of news that Apple is drawing the ire of Spotify, which claims Apple is engaging in unfair business practices meant to stifle competition. This likely won’t play well to that narrative.
Still, TIDAL has never actually done as well as many had hoped, and even promised exclusives to the platform find their way to other services over time. Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ was supposed to be exclusive to the platform, which brought on a ton of subscribers — who then sued TIDAL when the album was distributed elsewhere.
Of course, it’s not the first time TIDAL is alleged to be on the market. Previously, Samsung was rumored to be interested in snapping it up, which was quickly shot down. TIDAL executives have denied an acquisition is being discussed, but with Apple’s proclivity for secrecy, that could be a ruse.
And while it should go without saying, an acquisition would also mean TIDAL’s demise. Whatever its possible motives for buying TIDAL, Apple would undoubtedly weave it through Apple Music rather than continue to operate it as a standalone entity.