Samsung is in talks to acquire the Tidal streaming music service, the New York Post reports.
The newspaper quotes “several” unnamed sources who claim Google and Spotify have also considered swooping for Tidal, which Jay Z acquired for $56 million through a purchase of Aspiro AB. Samsung, however, has reportedly positioned itself ahead of other potential suitors with plans for “something really big” in the pipeline.
“Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks,” reports the Post, quoting a source “close to talks.” An unofficial valuation of $100 million is mentioned in relation to Tidal.
The South Korean electronics giant is certainly familiar with Tidal and its hierarchy. Jay Z struck a deal with Samsung in 2013 in which one million free downloads of the hip-hop mogul’s Magna Carta Holy Grail were offered via an exclusive app. More recently, Samsung partnered with Rihanna on the release of her latest, eighth album Anti by footing the bill for a giveaway of a million downloads. The Barbados-born singer is a partner in Tidal and she’s signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation imprint, which is distributed by Universal.
Billboard reached out to Tidal for comment but did not hear back by deadline.
Tidal has had its share of wobbles since its glitzy launch in March 2015 when 16 superstar artists were presented to the world as equity partners (more artist stakeholders have since come on board). The moment was declared as one that would “forever change the course of music history,” though Tidal has thus far failed to live up to its lofty claims.
The company has undergone numerous personnel changes at the upper executive ranks and various music exclusives have been overshadowed by some messy campaigns, none more perplexing than the release of Rihanna’s latest album and Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo.
Tidal boasts more than 1 million subscribers, well behind the global market-leading brand Spotify (which is closing in on 30 million subscribers) and Apple Music, which surpassed 11 million in just six months.