A new report indicates that Samsung is in talks to acquire Tidal, Jay Z's music streaming service. The struggling streamer has received a boost recently from new subscribers who signed on during exclusive releases of the latest albums by pop stars Rihanna and Kanye West.
Rumors of Samsung acquiring Tidal first surfaced last October, as Jay Z, majority owner of the company, was seen visiting Samsung's Silicon Valley offices. The rumors were squashed, however, when it was later announced that superstar singer Rihanna had inked a $25 million sponsorship deal with Samsung for her upcoming tour. Jay Z manages Rihanna, so the visit was chalked up to a negotiation meeting regarding that deal.
Now, it appears that there may indeed have been more to the talks than just a Rihanna sponsorship, as a new report cites various industry sources claiming that Samsung is in fact looking to potentially acquire Tidal. The two companies have already worked together in releasing Rihanna's Anti album. One million free downloads of the disc were given away via Tidal in a Samsung-sponsored promotion. The promotion included a free three-month subscription to Tidal, which is expected to help the struggling streamer build beyond the million-subscriber milestone it reached in October, which prompted the free Tidal X concert celebration at Brooklyn's Barclay Center that same month.
Tidal has apparently received an even bigger boost from its exclusive release of Kanye West's latest album, The Life of Pablo, with some reports claiming that the service has doubled its subscriber base as a result of demand for the volatile rapper's new collection. Prior to the two high-profile exclusive releases, Tidal had been struggling to find stability in its upper ranks, as various executives departed the streamer while it failed to differentiate itself from higher profile competitors like Spotify and Apple Music and received little media attention.
With Apple Music now reaching a reported 11 million subscribers, Samsung may be feeling the pressure from its main smartphone rival to create a music streaming service of its own to compete. Meanwhile, reports state that both Google and Spotify have also shown interest in Tidal, apparently believing that the streamer could help boost either company's existing music streaming services, despite its relatively small subscriber base.