FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2016 |
Posted by: Mandi Dudek
Apple has more money than it knows what to do with and they're currently fighting for their life in the music streaming department. The company's $3.2 billion Beats acquisition in 2014 was an attempt to catch up in the music world but didn't quite make it. Apple made a poor attempt to catch-up to its competitor, Spotify, by half-ass launching Apple Music - which was poorly executed and "literally a horrid platform" as Justin Vernon said. And with Apple's business slowing down after seeing the first over-the-year revenue decline with the iPhone, what does Apple have to lose by taking over TIDAL (besides some pocket change)?
In terms of Apple pulling ahead of its competitors because of this investment, we just don't think it's going to work. First of all, if Jay-Z were to agree to sell TIDAL to Apple would just make him look like a hypocritical, greedy man for going back on his word. He started TIDAL to be an artist-friendly alternative to the corporate-back music streaming services. Apple is a pretty damn big business. And Jay-Z has been very vocal in the past about his criticism toward Apple Music. But we all know Jay-Z and Kanye love money.
TIDAL racked up two lawsuits in the last year over the false exclusivity of Kanye's Life of Pablo stream through TIDAL and another that cries fouls over the royalty payments to musicians. Apple will end up spending more money on legal fees and I'm sure there will be more lawsuits to come because it's Kanye.
Buying TIDAL could also mean bringing TIDAL's 4.2 million subscribers over to Apple Music, which would bring the numbers to over 17 million, which still trails behind Spotify's 30 million. They're going to have to do much more than that to catch-up.
Apple would essentially be working against the artists, who are much better off when multiple companies are competing to exclusively share their music. Which gives Apple the power to decide if an artist will thrive or crumble, depending on who Apple decides to promote. Which doesn't help Apple win over the hearts of the artists that are already bitter towards the company.
So basically, Apple can do better than investing in TIDAL. It'll only be a waste of money that'll turn artists against Apple and make Jay-Z look like a money-grubbing hypocrite. Not only that, but there's bound to be more legal drama because Kanye is just Kanye. And the likelihood that Apple Music/TIDAL joining forces will pull ahead of their competitors is pretty slim. So sorry, Apple. It just ain't gonna work.