Apple Reportedly in Talks to Buy Tidal

Apple Reportedly in Talks to Buy Tidal

Tidal, the often-controversial music service owned by hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, is in talks to be acquired by Apple.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the talks are “ongoing” and may or may not result in a deal. Tidal was reportedly in similar talks with Samsung earlier this year but those did not result in a deal.

The reason for the talks from Apple’s standpoint, according to the Journal and other media reports, are to eliminate a competitor to its Apple Music service, and also bring into the fold various music superstars associated with Tidal, including Jay-Z himself, Beyonce, Kanye West and Rihanna. Tidal is also the only streaming service that offers Prince’s catalog.

What does it mean for subscribers of either service? It’s unknown whether Tidal would simply be folded into Apple Music- as was the case with Beats Music when Apple bought Beats in 2014- or would continue to be run as a separate service. Tidal currently offers a $20 high-fidelity mostly subscription.

Tidal was founded by a Swedish company called Aspire in 2014, before it was acquired by Jay-Z in early 2015 for $56 million. Despite much praise from audiophiles, Tidal has suffered much bad press, both from its celebrity-focused launch to the lack of demand for the hi-fi service.

What do you think? If you subscribe to Tidal, do you want it to be bought by Apple?

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Stephen Silver is a longtime journalist and film critic based in the Philadelphia area. His work has appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, Fox 29 in Philadelphia, New York Press, SB Nation, The Daily Banter, CSNPhilly.com, the Good Men Project, Splice Today, Screenrant.com and the Philadelphia area’s Patch websites.