Reports suggest that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is in exploratory talks towards the acquisition of Tidal, a music streaming service from the hand of rapper Jay-ZRegardless of what’s being rumored, a spokesperson for Tidal stated that Tidal executives had not held conversations with Apple representatives.

Tidal is a $20-a-month service that allows users to enjoy millions of high-quality songs by a diverse array of artists. There is a $10 alternative that allows for the same content but with a lesser quality of sound.

Tidal products are on display as Yandel celebrates the Puerto Rican Day Parade at China Grill on June 12, 2016, in New York City. Photo courtesy of Brad Barket/Getty Images for Roc Nation.

Apple aims for the lead in streaming services

Apple has worked with artists since the release of iTunes and, recently, also through its streaming platform known as Apple Music. Music streaming services appear to have a strong base in the market, as current leader Spotify holds over 100 million users. But there has been some turmoil, mainly due to artists refusing to allow their whole repertoire to be freely available for a fee of a couple of dollars.

It appears that iTunes knows how to circumvent this issue and is taking advantage of Tidal’s recent changes in management, as Soundcloud’s previous chief of business has become Tidal’s new CEO. Tidal is also a service where the artist has greater control over its content. Since it only allows paid subscription users, the potential of revenue is much more significant. Tidal is also the only streaming service featuring the works of Prince, who at first was reluctant to promote his music through web services.

Currently, the Apple Music service costs $9.99 a month, and it has been able to gather a following of 15 million subscribers. Apple has already stated that they plan to redesign Apple Music’s interface and its repertoire, which would indicate why the company has leaned towards acquiring Tidal.

At first, Apple Music was known as Beats, coming from Beats Electronics. It was purchased by Apple in 2014, and it has had significant success, especially because of the collaborations with rap legend and producer Dr. Dre, who managed to pave Apple’s new approach to music marketing. The addition of Tidal would join the efforts of Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, two of the most influential rappers ever.

What’s coming in the area of music streaming

Since streaming and download services have been available, there has been a critical concern in the artist’s ownership regarding its music. Because it is very easy to download or listen to a song, there have been efforts to assess the real value of music files in a brand new digital era. Such is in case of Tidal, some services offer an increased level of audio quality, while other services allow for artist exclusives and cloud storage, so the user’s song library is available regardless of his location.

Apple is perhaps trying to gain leverage by taking into consideration the approach of successful streaming services. First, it was Beats and now Tidal. Apple Music will surely have a significant upgrade regarding its relationship to artists and perhaps in its subscription-based model, which seems to be the current trending method of listening to music through the internet.

Source: Wall Street Journal