No, Kanye West, Apple Music Won’t Buy Out Tidal

Jimmy Iovine Tells Buzzfeed That Apple Music Won't Purchase Tidal
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Jimmy Iovine Tells Buzzfeed That Apple Music Won't Purchase Tidal
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Sinking Ship 001 image by Tony Evans, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)

Could this be the end for Tidal?

No, Kanye West, No. Tidal’s not going to be bought out by Apple, despite your protests.

The head of Apple Music, Jimmy Iovine, spoke to Buzzfeed today and said that Apple Music isn’t interested in purchasing Jay Z’s streaming music service.

“We’re really running our own race. We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.”

One thing to note in Buzzfeed’s article is that Iovine never denied the reports of Apple Music execs meeting with Tidal.  Earlier this summer, there were rumors that Apple Music was in talks to purchase Tidal.  Sources close to the talks told the Wall Street Journal that Apple was interested in bringing Tidal to boost up its own Apple Music service.

Why? Because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists like Madonna and Kanye West.  Or something like that.

Both companies face intense competition from Spotify, which currently sports more than 40 million paid subscribers. Apple Music is just under half of Spotify’s numbers with around 17 million paid subscribers. Tidal has around 4.2 million. While Apple Music is still under Spotify’s numbers, in the past 3 months, they’ve picked up an impressive tally of 2 million new subscribers.

While Apple Music has been growing in the music streaming field, Tidal has been sinking rather quickly.  Since Jay Z acquired the company, it’s gone through two CEOs.  We reported here at Digital Music News on Tuesday that Tidal owner Aspiro AB posted a net loss of 239 million Swedish kronor, or around $28 million, in 2015. This loss represents a nearly threefold increase over their losses back in 2014, while their revenues increased 30% to 402 million Swedish kronor, or $47.2 million.

So what’s crippling Jay Z’s upstart?  Royal obligations to Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group lead the list.  The big three labels drained Tidal of nearly three-quarters of all its revenue, according to the filings.

Despite the bad news, one good thing that we saw was that roughly around half of Tidal’s paid subscribers were more than willing to spend $20 a month for its high-fidelity service.  Here’s hoping Tidal can turn things around and fast.  Small animals are usually the first to leave from a sinking ship.

2 Responses

  1. Math is fun

    Keep referring to $20 a month and the PR friendly subscriber number, but now you have the revenue and the sub number. Divide the two numbers and you don’t get anywhere close to $10 or $20. But we can all just keep ignoring that.

    Kind of like the 3M non-revenue generating subs that Deezer had to talk about in public filings refuting their 6M number.

    Step one – the industry and covering media should not be so accepting of blatant lies when the data so clearly says something else. So busy writing Haterade for people to drink that the obvious facts escape.

  2. Nicky Knight thoughts...

    For streaming to hit paydirt they need to price it at a dollar a week, four bucks a month and that way millions world over would snap it up..

    $120 a year for the ten bucks a month streamers is too much for most people living in this high cost of living world.. (Tidal’s $20 price point is way over the top…)

    $4 per month, $48 per year and that’s a whole lot more than what most people
    currently spend on recorded music .. but this price point would change the world..

    Someone has to be brave to convince the fat cats at the majors to accept a new
    revolutionary approach where music is so affordable everyone says Yes !