Operation: Corporate Takeover? More than just an age old Jay Z song, the title references what is reportedly brewing in the meeting halls of Apple and Tidal, as the former is reportedly in takes of purchasing Jay's streaming service.
While the talks are still early and may not end in a deal, according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is in early discussions to acquire the Jay Z-owned streaming service in a move to bolster its Apple Music streaming app, which is facing strict competition with Spotify.
After purchasing the service for $56 million in March 2015, before giving it a facelift with a star-studded alliance that saw megastars like Beyoncé, Kanye West, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk, Lil Wayne, Arcade Fire, and more receiving small stakes of the company. The streaming service has since received criticism for not releasing its streaming numbers, which has made it difficult to rate its measure of success. This past March, Tidal received criticism for reportedly inflating its reported streaming numbers for Kanye West's Tidal-released album The Life of Pablo, which was estimated at over 250 million streams in its first 10 days of release. Albeit, the service has since been the premier destination for exclusive releases, such as Rihanna's Anti, Kanye's TLOP, Beyoncé's Lemonade, and most recently DJ Khaled's "I Got the Keys" music video.
Apple is now one of many other companies reportedly interested in acquiring Tidal. This past February, Samsung was reportedly in talks with Jay Z and his investors to buy Tidal. However, in a twist, both Google and Spotify also expressed interest as well in different capacities.
Apple's reported move to takeover Tidal makes sense for both sides, giving both companies' hard-fought competition with Spotify, which recently accused Apple for "causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers" by turning down the streaming service's recent update of its iPhone app.
If given the green light, the potential move would help in many ways, most notably being able to streamline exclusive streaming deals under one umbrella. Since the launch of the streaming era, days of albums leaking weeks in advance online have since changed dramatically. Tidal and Apple Music already lead the race when it comes to exclusive album releases (Think: Drake's VIEWS, Beyoncé's Lemonade), which one-ups a service like Spotify, that doesn't take part in the game of exclusive album drops, in the streaming wars. The two platforms are also built on establishing their companies as the premier artist-first destination.
Still, there's still long ways to go before a deal, if it ever comes to that, takes place. Overall, it's all deeper than choruses.