Last year I tried to answer the question of whether Apple should buy Tesla. My verdict was no. You can read that here.
It seems this year, the flames being fanned are for Apple to buy Tidal. Is it a good idea? I think so.
On, Twitter @afrovii made the case for acquiring Tidal essentially for the cool and the pop culture relevance and cred. Tidal’s whole sell is that it belongs to the artists. It has exclusives for half of RocNation and beyond, with Beyoncé, Kanye especially having dropped their wave making albums on the platform first, spiking downloads. Yet for all that, Tidal has a bare 4.5m subs to Apple’s 13m+. Imagine what Apple would’ve done with those kind of artistes on its roster. Artiste support is the biggest asset Tidal brings to the table and if they hook that up with Apple’s reach and pockets, Spotify’s 30m subs will finally be beaten. Easily.
There’s also so much Tidal could offer Apple Music around video delivery, specials and all sorts of creative content that could really make Apple Music a monster of a platform and a total force in streaming.
Of course there are downsides to a potential Tidal acquisition. The top one is that the company is a rather lackluster operation, business wise. The second is that it’s loaded with artiste “cofounders” which is a plus if most of them decide to maintain their exclusive relationship after they get their checks but a huge minus if they decide to walk, because then what’s the point? In fact, any acquisition has to come With the condition that they stay so I’m not even sure why I’m bothering to mention this. It’s pretty much a deal breaker.
At the end of the day, it makes sense for Apple to buy Tidal. The latter frankly need the deal more, but Apple will be helped by it. And if they don’t, Spotify might. Sometimes, that is enough to get things rolling.
Bonus thoughts: Kanye tweeted about wanting to sit down with Jay, Cook, Jimmy etc to end the Apple/Tidal beef this week. I have a feeling he tweeted that because he knows it’s already happening. So Let’s be on the look out.