In late June of this year, reports surfaced that Apple Music was on the verge of acquiring its streaming competitor Tidal. Many people assumed, having not heard much since, that the talks were proceeding. But Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine has just put an end to those ongoing rumors.
In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Iovine said that Apple Music has no plans to take over Tidal or any other rivals in the streaming game, though he did not deny that the company may have engaged in discussions with Tidal in the past.
“We’re really running our own race,” Iovine said. “We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.”
The fact that Tidal (may have) tried to sell to Apple Music is not surprising. Despite being backed by Jay Z and having the support of some of music’s biggest stars, the company lost $28 million last year. As of March of this year, Tidal claimed three million subscribers, as compared to 15 million for Apple Music and 30 million for Spotify. Spotify, by far the most popular service of the three, has over 100 million active users every month, but only around 30% of them are paying subscribers.
Apple Music and Tidal both offer exclusives, where artists will have their new work on only one platform for a pre-arranged period of time before it is delivered elsewhere. However, as of late, at least one major label has been making noise about moving away from exclusives altogether for its artists. Spotify does not offer exclusives, calling them “bad for artists and bad for fans.”