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Apple 'considering takeover of Jay-Z's Tidal'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 1/07/2016 Clare Hutchison
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Apple is considering stepping up its challenge to music streaming giant Spotify by buying Jay-Z's artist-friendly platform Tidal.

The tech giant is reportedly in talks with Tidal over a possible deal, which would bolster its one-year-old Apple Music service.

Apple Music has so far won 15 million paying subscribers, roughly half that of market leader Spotify, and the company believes it could strong links with artists like Kanye West and Madonna, the Wall Street Journal said, citing sources. Tidal, which offers streaming of high- and standard-quality tracks, has 4.2 million subscribers.

A Tidal spokesperson told the newspaper it hadn't held talks with Apple.

Jay-Z relaunched Tidal in March last year after buying it for $56 million (£36.8 million) from Sweden's Aspiro.

It was billed as the service that put artists first and has the backing of the likes of Calvin Harris, Daft Punk and Jay-Z's wife Beyoncé, who were have small stakes in the firm.

A deal with Apple would bring together two titans of rap - Dr Dre, whose Beats business was bought by Apple in 2014 and Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter.

However, the rival services would have to work out their differences. Unlike Apple, Tidal allows artists to tinker with music after releasing it and only offers paid subscriptions.

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