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Will Apple And Tidal Go West?

In a further twist to the pantomime speculation surrounding Apple’s potential acquisition of Tidal,Kanye West (pictured) took to Twitter this week demanding that the deal is done.

As previously reported, rumours have been swirling for several weeks that Apple Music is considering purchasing Tidal. West tweeted this week that “This Tidal Apple beef is f**king up the music game”, followed by “Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop trying to act like you Steve”. Presumably he means Jobs as opposed to say, former snooker world champion Steve Davis.

Of course, West is a founder and investor in Tidal so there is a vested interest. Coupled withKanye’s somewhat erratic approach to social media, The Gen takes all of this with an almighty pinch of salt.

Despite this, the purchase would be a smart strategic move for Apple, considering their deep pockets and apparent desire to see off main competitor Spotify.

As Tidal currently has three million paying subscribers in comparison to Spotify’s 30m, it’s not so much a numbers game as about exclusivity and access to artists – a selling point that Apple is ramping up through deals with mega stars such as Drake, which included the tech company funding videos and sponsoring a tour as part of a deal reportedly worth $19m.

Frank Ocean’s forthcoming LP ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ will also reportedly be at least an Apple windowed exclusive, another major coup for the service.

On the subject of exclusives, DJ Skee has written this illuminating blog for Music Business Worldwide entitled ‘Why exclusives are terrible for fans, artists and the streaming music business’.DJ Skee points out that, unlike video services with exclusive offering such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, music streaming services have 99% of the same content and that consumers are highly unlikely to subscribe to two services.

Lets not forget that earlier this year, Kanye released one of the major exclusives of the year onTidal, initially stating that his LP ‘The Life of Pablo’ “Will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal”, subsequently sending the album straight to the top of the pirate bay charts.

In a further comedic twist, West added: “I forgot to add Daniel Ek”, meaning that presumably he just wants all of the streaming services to come together and play nice – an increasingly unlikely scenario.

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