Music Business

Apple In Talks To Buy Tidal Says Wall St. Journal, But New York Times Says ‘No Way’ – A Look At The Pros And Cons

Apple-logoApple is in talks to acquire Tidal, according to a Wall Street Journal report confirmed by re/code.  But a respected New York Times reporters says his sources say the sale is off.  Here is a look at the case for and against an Apple Tidal purchase.


Apple is in talks to acquire Tidal, the Wall Street Journal blasted late yesterday; and hours later re/code sources confirmed the conversations. But respected New York Times music journalist Ben Sisario quotes his sources as saying that Apple has no intention of purchasing Jay Z's music streaming service.


Whoever turns out to be right, Apple buying Tidal is an intriguing concept. Here's a look at the pros and cons:

Jay ZCON  He'd be going back on his word  to fans and Tidal's artist/partners – Jay Z launched Tidal as an artist friendly  alternative to corporate backed streaming music services.  Is anyone more big business than Apple. 

PRO  A Big Payday for Jay Z and his celebrity partners – A big pay day may not help the average artist, but it sure would make Kayne West, Rhianna and the other top tier artists who each own a reported 2% of Tidal.   Oh, and Jay Z is known to like money too.

CON  Apple Hate – Jay Z has been very vocal in his criticisms of Apple Music; and a recent Apple app store rejection is said to have created more bad blood, as it has with Spotify

PRO  Apple Love – If you have to sell out to the "man," who is hipper than Apple?

PRO Exclusive Consolidation – Apple and Tidal are the two music streamers that have bet big on "exclusives." Putting them all under one roof could drive subscriptions.

CON  Does Apple Music really need to buy Tidal? Its already got 15 million subscribers and growing.

PRO  The Battle against Spotify – Not only would Apple be able to position itself as the "artist friendly" service,  adding 4-5 million Tidal subscribers puts it is striking distance of Spotify's 30 million paid.

For both sides, the pros would seem to outweigh the cons. This would not be the first time that bad feelings and bravado have been overcome by a big check. Stay tuned…


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