Is Samsung About to Buy TIDAL?

tidal

According to a report from the New York Post published today, electronics giant Samsung is very interested in purchasing Jay Z’s digital music streaming service TIDAL. Citing multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, the paper claims that Google and Spotify have also expressed interest in the relatively young service, but Samsung has been far more aggressive in its pursuit. “Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks,” a source is quoted as saying. What this project entails and how TIDAL fits into their plans is anybody’s guess.

Despite recent reports that the exclusive release of Kanye’s new album doubled the number of TIDAL subscribers within a matter of days, the service is still a very minor player in the digital music space when you look at the data. It’s hard to know exactly how many people are using Google’s Music Play service, but Spotify boasts over 20 million paid users and Apple Music is believed to be sitting on around 10 million itself. Even if Kanye’s album did bring more people to TIDAL, it’s userbase is still estimated at only around 2.5 million.

TIDAL certainly has other things going for it, such as Jay Z’s network of powerful and influential friends, its star-studded ownership group and its access to exclusive content from those partners. But the service has not performed as well as its principals may have hoped it would upon its launch in early 2015. Several executives have joined and then left the company over its short lifespan and the Post piece mentions rumors that Jay has had to dig into his own personal funds to make sure royalties are being paid to artists. Upon its launch, TIDAL execs valued the company at around $250 million, but more recent estimates by industry experts place it closer to $100 million.

So why the interest from Samsung? Apple makes its own service extremely easy to sign up for by shipping iPhones with their Music software pre-installed, and Samsung, it’s main rival in the smartphone space, could potentially do the same with TIDAL. Perhaps the company’s enormous reserves of cash (it is valued at over $200 billion) and its extensive infrastructure are just what TIDAL needs to reach the next level. Then you also have to consider, as Forbes points out, that Samsung already has relationships with a number of established artists, including Jay himself and TIDAL co-owner Rihanna. We’ll know more if and when Samsung completes this deal, but one thing is certain though: if this goes through, Jay and the rest of the “artist-owners” are going to EAT.


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One Response to “Is Samsung About to Buy TIDAL?”

  1. hip hop cops Says:

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