South Korean mega-corp, Samsung, is in talks to purchase Tidal, the boutique streaming service owned by Jay-Z, according to the New York Post.
The two companies have reportedly held on-and-off talks over Tidal’s 16 month lifetime, a period during which Samsung has been extremely involved with a number of Tidal artists. Most recently, the electronics company spent $28 million to sponsor Rihanna’s new album and tour.
But Samsung is not the only company interested in a possible Tidal takeover. Both Google and Spotify have reportedly gazed longingly at the struggling music service, likely looking to fold its roster of artists into their growing portfolios, thus fortifying their positions in the streaming war.
The Samsung news comes along with a rumor that the company is planning something big in the media realm, and coincides with its major sponsorship of this year’s Oscar ceremony
“Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks,” said a source to the New York Post.
Tidal has been marred by a number of controversies in its short life. The company accidentally released Rihanna’s Anti days early, and played a significant role in the extremely confusing release cycle of Kanye West’s latest album The Life of Pablo. Plus, Tidal’s corporate leadership don’t seem extremely excited to stick around; The company is now on its third CEO in its short life. Sources have also indicated that the company is having trouble paying its royalty checks on time.
For Samsung, acquiring an already-running service with some notoriety could be cheaper than creating its own market; While Tidal was valued at $250 million dollars by executives at the time of its launch, it is now worth about $100 million. Current owners include Rihanna, Madonna, and Nicki Minaj, among other celebrity pop stars.
When exactly the acquisition would happen remains to be seen but, with bills mounting, it will likely be sooner than later.
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