Is Tidal on its Way to Becoming the Apple of Apple’s Eye?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tidal — Jay Z’s music service that is not an excellent 1996 Fiona Apple album, but on which you can certainly download Fiona Apple’s Tidal — might soon be acquired by Apple, who of course recently launched their own Tidal/Spotify-ish streaming service competitor, Apple Music. Jay Z himself bought the previously-existing service in 2015 for $56 million, before transforming it into the celebrity elite club it became.

It’s still early, and the talks that are currently being had allegedly may not even lead to anything, and the news comes merely from sources “familiar with the matter,” but supposedly the company is especially keen on acquiring Tidal’s global celebrity ties, given that beyond Jay Z, the service is also co-owned and supported by a range of megastars and bands (19 in total) like Beyoncé, Kanye, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Rihanna, Usher, and more. (It’s for this reason that the likes of Lemonade, The Life of Pablo, and Kanye’s “Famous” video have all at least begun as Tidal exclusives).

Tidal currently has two packages — a $20 a month deal for high fidelity, or a $10 package for regular streaming quality, while Apple Music costs $9.99 a month, unless you get a family plan for $14.99 monthly. According to the WSJ article, one area of tension between the two services merging could be Tidal’s reputation for allowing artists — Kanye is of course the first to come to mind, with The Life of Pablo — to alter their work after it’s been released.