Contrary to what the rumor mill has been saying for at least a couple of months, Apple won’t be acquiring Tidal, one of the rivals of its music streaming service, after all. The company itself says so.
Jimmy Iovine, the head of Apple Music, has put an end to the rumors once and for all. “We’re really running our own race,” he said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.” It’s worth noting, though, that he did not go so far as to deny that Apple held talks to acquire Tidal.
A rumor no more
Apple’s rumored interest in purchasing Tidal first came to light in late June, with reports claiming that the major draw would be the service’s exclusive relationship with a number of high-profile artists.
Launched in 2014 and touted as the first artist-owned streaming service in the world, Tidal is headed by Jay-Z and backed by Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, deadmau5, J. Cole, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Usher, and perhaps most notably, Kanye West.
In late July, West fanned the flames of the rumor when he posted a series of tweets essentially demanding Apple to go ahead with the acquisition and “give Jay his check.”
Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop trying to act like you Steve.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016
A tidal wave of rivalry
But as Iovine has all but categorically stated, Apple won’t be acquiring Tidal and giving Jay-Z his proverbial check.
Apparently, Apple believes that Apple Music will fare just fine in its ongoing battle against the leading music streaming service Spotify even without exclusive access to Tidal’s roster of popular artists.
One of Tidal's selling points is its offering of exclusive content from artists like Usher.
Spotify, which has been in the business for over a decade, now has 40 million subscribers. In comparison, Apple Music, which entered the fray just over a year ago, now has 17 million subscribers, and is expected to attract more especially with its ever-growing collection of exclusive releases and its much-improved app recently introduced as part of iOS 10.
As for Tidal, even with its association with such big names in the music industry, it has failed to really make its mark in the highly competitive music streaming space. As of July, nearly two years after its launch, Tidal claims to have 4.2 million subscribers.
Evidently, Tidal needs Apple more than Apple needs Tidal.