Monday, July 4, 2016

Streaming Music Wars: Apple Not Buying Tidal, Fires Back At Spotify

Written by James Geddes — New sources say that contrary to a prior report indicating that Apple is in talks to purchase streaming music service Tidal, a sale of Jay Z's struggling streamer is not in the cards. Ben Sisario, a trusted New York Times music reporter claims that more than one source has indicated that there is no plan for any deal between Apple and Tidal.

The internet was abuzz briefly when the report claimed that serious talks between the two companies were underway. The potential synergies between the two companies were noted, particularly the ability for Apple Music to beef up its exclusive deals with artists, which has been one of the biggest battlegrounds between the two companies.

Apple has scored exclusive deals with Drake, Snoop Dog, Chance The Rapper and Dreezy, while Tidal's exclusive offerings have included the latest albums from Rihanna, Kanye West and Beyonce. All of those exclusives under one streaming music service roof could help lure more subscribers to Apple Music, especially fans of R&B and hip-hop.

Tidal currently has between 4 and 5 million subscribers while Apple Music has amassed 15 million plus. Both services offer paid subscriptions only as opposed to Spotify, which remains the biggest on-demand music streaming service worldwide with more than 100 million users, at least 30 million of which are paid subscribers.

The rumor of the possible deal was shot down however by Sisario, who extensively covers the streaming music business. In a tweet, Sisario stated that according to his sources, a purchase of Tidal by Apple was not in the works.

"Two highly placed sources tell me that Apple is not buying Tidal," Sisario tweeted.

While Apple may not in fact have its sights set on Tidal, it did have its aim set at Spotify after the streamer openly complained that a new version of its iOS app was being unfairly rejected from the Apple App Store for competitive reasons.

"We find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service," Apple's lawyers fired back at Spotify's attorneys in a strongly worded letter that has since leaked in its entirety.

"We did not alter our behavior or our rules when we introduced our own music streaming service or when Spotify became a competitor," the letter continues. "Ironically, it is now Spotify that wants things to be different by asking for preferential treatment from Apple."

As the streaming music wars continue to heat up, one thing is certain: so will the rumors and rhetoric served up by the various competitors.

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