Earlier this year, it was rumored that Apple was in talks to buy Jay Z-owned streaming service Tidal. Albeit nearly three months late, Apple has now commented on the acquisition rumors in a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, denying that it has any interest in acquiring other streaming services.
In the interview, Apple Music leader Jimmy Iovine explained that Apple is perfectly content operating independently as it is now. “We’re really running our own race,” Iovine said. “We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.”
The reasoning behind Apple’s interest in Tidal was likely centered on the service’s strong relationship with artists and easy ability to gain exclusive rights to content. Tidal is, of course, owned by a handful of different musicians including Jay Z, Alicia Keys, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, and Kanye West.
Exclusive streaming content has come under fire recently, though. It was recently reported that Universal Music recently would end negotiating with streaming services for exclusive deals, while Kanye West proclaimed that the Apple/Tidal “beef” was hurting the music industry.
Apple wasn’t the first company to be rumored to have interest in acquiring Tidal. A report earlier this year claimed that Samsung, Google, and Spotify had all considered buying the service.
Apple announced at its iPhone 7 event last week that it now has 17 million paying Apple Music subscribers. Tidal, on the other hand, is said to have around 4.2 million paying customers.