Ever since Tidal’s launch back in October 2014, the streaming service has been under intense scrutiny from all angles. The Jay Z-owned company is responsible for flubbing Rihanna’s latest release when her ANTI album was prematurely released, and creating piracy issues due to a botched release of Kanye West’s most recent album The Life of Pablo. The New York Post reports that Tidal, which was initially valued at over $250 million, is now valued at about $100 million. Another source said that Jay Z has even dipped into his own funds in an attempt to salvage the floundering business. Most recently, news broke that Samsung may be in talks with Tidal to acquire the company, which may hint at the company’s attempt to cut additional losses before their reputation gets tarnished even more.
This isn’t the first time Samsung has been a rumored Tidal buyer since the Korean phone company has been involved in a partnership with Tidal since the 2014 launch. Most recently, Samsung offered up $28 million to Rihanna for her latest album and subsequent tour since she has a stake in the company’s equity, along with Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and several other huge names. An undisclosed source close to the talks said, “Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks.” Although Google and Spotify have also had their eyes on Tidal, Samsung seems like the most likely buyer since it has the longest standing partnership and involvement with Tidal.
Becase Samsung has merely resumed talks about acquiring Tidal, not much can be said about Tidal’s motives yet. One thing that seems pretty clear, however, is that Tidal’s rumored decision to sell appears to be an attempt at cutting the company’s losses rather than making a huge profit in a monumental acquisition deal. When Tidal was first launched, the public saw pictures of some of the most powerful people in the industry banding together to change the future of music streaming. The impactful display at the launch, however, ended up being more for show than for actual purpose or utility. Tidal has proved to be an overall troubled service that can’t catch a break, so hopefully Jay Z let’s this one go before he dips into his pockets even more.