Back in February, rumors started to circulate that Samsung was in talks to acquire Tidal, the streaming service lead by Jay Z. I personally didn’t want that deal to happen for numerous reasons. Yesterday (6/30/2016), the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in preliminary talks to buy Tidal. I’m not sure why, but my attitude towards a buyout of Tidal had changed. I was actually hoping it would happen.
Just to be clear, I love the idea behind Tidal and how select artists have ownership within the company as well as Jay Z being its majority owner. Tidal has relationships with high profile artists (some are owners) and secures major album exclusives. But, the same goes for Apple Music (besides the ownership part). Currently, Spotify boasts 30 million subscribers, Apple Music, half that and it took them a little over a year to do so. Tidal currently has under 4 million subscribers and exclusive album releases from Rihanna, Kanye West and Beyonce helped build that number up from 900,000 last June.
I believe that Apple can become the number one streaming service, Tidal can too. But honestly, it can happen faster for Apple than it can for Tidal. Spotify hasn’t relied on high-profile exclusives or celebrity endorsements, but that’s going to change. Do remember, music manager Troy Carter was hired as Spotify’s “global head of creator services”. This move is going to allow Spotify to play “the game” like their 2 biggest competitors have. Which is why I believe why Apple would like to buy Tidal in an effort to limit their competition.
I’ve always talked about how I feel about streaming exclusives, and if they’re going to happen, I rather it be split into two platforms, versus three. There’s still a part of me that wishes Tidal doesn’t sell, and another part of me that hopes it happens. Either way, the owners behind Tidal win. If Apple acquires Tidal, the owners laugh all the way to the bank, if not, the company can still build where they left off. It’s a win/win. The streaming wars are looking like Game of Thrones right now. What do think will happen? Tell me on @VinceValholla.