According to multiple reports, Apple Inc. is in talks to acquire Tidal, a streaming-music service run by rap/business mogul Jay Z.
Apple is exploring the idea of bringing on Tidal to bolster its Apple Music service because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna. The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal.
Jay Z bought the service in March 2015 for $56 million from Swedish company Aspiro, which had created the brand Tidal. He has given 19 famous artists and bands small stakes in Tidal and promised each millions of dollars worth of marketing, according to people familiar with the matter.
A Tidal spokesman said Tidal executives hadn’t held talks with Apple.
Tidal is a subscription-based music streaming service that combines lossless audio and high definition music videos with curated editorial. The service has over 25 million tracks and 85,000 music videos. Tidal claims to pay the highest percentage of royalties to music artists and songwriters within the music streaming market. Tidal offers two digital music streaming services: Tidal Premium (lossy quality) and Tidal HiFi . Tidal was launched in 2014 by Norwegian/Swedish public company Aspiro. It has distribution agreements with all of the three major labels, in addition to many indies. In the first quarter of 2015, the parent company Aspiro was acquired by Project Panther Ltd., which is owned by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.
The company has experienced management turmoil, churning through three chief executives, one of them interim and one appointed by prior management, in less than a year. Jeff Toig, former chief business officer of SoundCloud, a Berlin-based audio-sharing service, has been CEO since January.
[Wall Street Journal]