Apple is reportedly in talks to purchase Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal, a source told The Wall Street Journal.
As of now, no details are known about the potential acquisition, but if true, it will likely result in a big payday for Tidal’s artist owners, including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Pharrell.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first rumor about a potential Tidal purchase.
Back in February, rumors surfaced that Samsung was interested in buying the music streaming service, although nothing ever came of it.
Apple already operates its own streaming service, Apple Music, which has been moderately successful, recently passing 13 million subscribers.
As of now, it’s not clear exactly what Apple would do with Tidal, although Jay Z’s company has played host to exclusive content from a number of high-profile artists recently.
Jay Z bought the service in March 2015 for $56 million from Swedish company Aspiro, which had created the brand Tidal.
He has given 19 famous artists and bands small stakes in Tidal and promised each millions of dollars worth of marketing, according to people familiar with the matter.
Since the beginning of 20016, Tidal has premiered new songs, albums, or videos from Kanye West, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Desiigner, T.I., TWENTY88, and more.
Tidal is also the only service offering the catalog of the late pop star Prince, who was wary of other streaming services but had a close relationship with Jay Z.
Prince died in April at the age of 57 of an overdose.
It’s also scored exclusive livestreaming rights for a number of TidalX concerts.
All of this has helped lift the streaming service’s fortunes a bit.
Its subscriber numbers reportedly doubled after the release of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo.
It does, however, still remain in a distant third to Spotify and Apple Music in terms of total subscribers.
The news of the talks comes about a year after Apple launched its own streaming music service, Apple Music.
Apple said on June 13 that it had 15 million paying subscribers to the service, which costs $9.99 a month for individuals, or $14.99 a month for families.
Tidal charges $20 a month for a high-fidelity version of its 40 million-song catalog or $10 a month for standard-quality sound.
Tidal said it has 4.2 million paying subscribers, most of whom it amassed this year with a string of exclusive releases
The same day, Apple said it would redesign Apple Music in the fall as part of an update to its iPhone software, to address complaints that the software was confusing and hard to navigate.
Apple Music was based on the streaming service Beats, which Apple acquired with headphone maker Beats Electronics for $3 billion in May 2014.
As part of the deal, Apple acquired the services of rap star Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, who have played critical roles in warming the music industry to Apple’s music service.
A deal with Tidal would bring two of the most legendary names in hip-hop to Apple’s camp, uniting East Coast and West Coast rap under a single business interest.
We’ll have to see whether the deal with Apple goes through, but if so, we can chalk this up as another major mogul move from Jay Z.