For months now we’ve been hearing rumors and industry talk about streaming music service Tidal looking for a buyer, with an acquisition by Apple being the most expected. However, in a rare case of addressing such rumors, Apple has come out and clearly stated that it has no plans to purchase Tidal or any other streaming service. That doesn’t mean the two companies didn’t have talks at some point, but it certainly looks like a deal won’t be reached anytime in the near future.
The topic came up in a BuzzFeed interview with Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine. “We’re really running our own race. We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services,” he said when asked about buying Tidal. This marks the first time anyone from Apple has acknowledged or commented on the Tidal acquisition rumors.
The most prominent report on a buy-out came from The Wall Street Journal back in June, with sources indicating that Apple was most interested in the close ties Tidal has with a number of popular artists, resulting in several big-name exclusives. The service was founded by rapper/producer Jay-Z, with artists including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Madonna having ownership.
Adding to the plausibility of the rumor was the idea that buying Tidal would’ve given Apple more ammunition in its battle against Spotify, the current leader of the streaming music market. There’s a good chance all those exclusive music releases could’ve been used to attract new users to Apple Music, which was just revealed to have 17 million subscribers. Then again, Tidal’s 4 million users still wouldn’t be enough for Apple to catch up to Spotify’s now over 40 million paying subscribers.