Kayne West launched a Tweet Storm last Friday asking Apple’s Tim Cook to have an executive meeting with him and his team to discuss the possibility of buying rival Tidal.
West said Apple’s rivalry with Tidal is a detriment to the music industry, and he’s calling on executives from both companies to come together to discuss sale terms. Specifically, he wants to meet with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music Larry Jackson and Tidal owner Jay-Z — as well as Drake, for some reason — this week. He later added Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek to the list of execs he wants at the table.
“F— all this dick swinging contest. We all gon [sic] be dead in 100 Years. Let the kids have the music,” West said. In an apparent reference to late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, he added, “Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop trying to act like you Steve.”
While he failed to elaborate, West is likely referring to negotiations related to a potential Tidal acquisition. In June, Apple was said to be mulling a purchase of the smaller streaming service, assumedly for access to exclusive releases.
When Jay-Z relaunched Tidal last year, he divvied up minor ownership rights to big-name artists like West, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin, Rihanna, Usher, Jack White and others. A number of minority owners have since released albums on the service as windowed exclusives, including West, who begged fans to subscribe after the debut of his last album, “Life of Pablo.”
Despite an all-star content lineup, Tidal in March announced a paid subscriber base of only 3 million users. At the time, Apple Music’s base came in at 11 million paying subscribers, a figure that has since grown to more than 15 million customers. Both services pale in comparison to market leader Spotify, which boasts some 30 million subscribers.
As for Apple, the company is focused on providing users with exclusive streaming music content, but it remains unclear if that means bidding for a competing service. Apple already dabbles in original content creation, including financing music videos, documentaries and other digital media. The collaborative strategy, fostered by Larry Jackson, has yielded exclusives from Eminem, Drake, Taylor Swift, M.I.A., Future, Chance the Rapper and more.