Apple reportedly in talks to buy Tidal

It seems one streaming service, Apple Music, may not be enough for Apple. The Cupertino giant is in early stage talks to buy Tidal, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Talks are said to be at an early stage, with Tidal's strong ties with popular artists reportedly a key factor for Apple.

Music mogul Jay Z bought Tidal's parent compant Aspiro back in 2015, and has since grown the streaming service to more than 4 million subscribers.

Tidal offers a standard £10 per month music offering in line with Apple Music and Spotify, but also offers a £20 per month CD-quality streaming option. Tidal hi-res streaming is also set to launch later this year.

MORE: 23 Tidal tips, tricks and features

As well as streaming music, Tidal has offered music downloads, music videos, streams of live events and even concert tickets, with an emphasis on exclusive content from big-name artists.

Apple's own Apple Music streaming service launched in June 2015, taking a leaf out of Tidal's book by offering videos and exclusive artist content alongside a more familiar streaming service.

Why would Apple buy Tidal? Tidal's strong ties to big-hitting artists, from Beyonce to Madonna and Kanye West, is said to be a key factor. Many of the artists are also stakeholders in Tidal and have offered music exclusively on the service as a result.

Or could CD-quality or even hi-res music finally be on Apple's radar, with Tidal in a position to offer such a service? We fear that's probably a long-shot.

The Wall Street Journal reports talks are at an early stage but with Jay Z having paid $56 million for Aspiro back in 2015, expect any package to be above and beyond that figure.

It's unlikely to top the $3 billion Apple paid for Beats in May 2014, the company's largest and highest profile acquisition. Tim Cook noted that Beats had become the "brand of both the music and sports world" - could it be Tidal has carved out enough of a niche in the music industry?

The Beats acquisition also included the Beats Music streaming service, which was subsequently rolled into Apple's own music offering. Now it seems Apple may have its eye on another streaming service.

MORE: Apple Music review

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).