TIDAL At A Crossroads: Samsung In Acquisition Talks, Spotify And Google Explore Partnerships
Despite some visible successes, Tidal has struggled since launcing. It's latest stumbles included the early release of Rihanna’s “Anti” and the piracy surge that Kanye West’s latest album suffered after a Tidal-only release. But that hasn't stopped major suitors from lining up to explore an acquisition.
Electronics and phone giant Samsung, which has long and deep ties to Tidal founder Jay Z and artist/owner Rihanna, has reportedly opened talks to acquire music streamer. “Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks,” a source close to the talks told The Post.
Google and Spotify have also been eyeing Tidal, multiple sources confirm. But their talks appear more about mutually beneficial partnerships rather than an outright acquisition. Spotify is reportedly exploring a deal that would produce a Tidal “powered by Spotify” partnership.
Partnerships rather acquisition would seem more in keeping with Tidal's "artists as owners" strategy which attracted the likes of Madonna, West, Rihanna, Danger Mouse and more recently T.I. Any outright acquisition could upend that model and remove the incentive that artists have to release exclusive content on Tidal.
“The pressure is definitely on,” a source told The Post who confirmed rumors that Tidal has had some trouble paying royalties. Jay Z has reportedly used some of his considerable wealth to keep the company afloat. “Tidal certainly needs a new home to stay alive,” commented a music industry insider.