The New York Times Calls Bullshit on the ‘Apple Buying Tidal’ Story

by Paul Resnikoff

The New York Times Calls Bullshit on the ‘Apple Buying Tidal’ Story
Top image by mendhak, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

Did Tidal pull a fast one on the Wall Street Journal?

Apple isn’t even considering buying Tidal, according to another group of sources speaking with the New York Times.  Ben Sisario, a longtime respected journalist whose writing focus includes streaming music, dropped the buzzkill late Thursday.  “Two highly placed sources tell me that Apple is not buying Tidal,” Sisario tweeted.

That follows a Wall Street Journal report claiming the exact opposite, published just hours earlier.  “Apple Inc. is in talks to acquire Tidal, a streaming-music service run by rap mogul Jay Z, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Journal wrote.

A closer reading the Journal article suggests some flimsy claims, with plenty of contradictions to suggest, well,bullshit.  The report points to ‘exploratory talks,’ with Apple ‘exploring the idea’ of acquiring Tidal, with nothing concrete as it relates to purchase price.  “The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal, these people said,” the report continued.  “Terms of the potential deal aren’t known.”

Exactly who the Journal’s sources are remains suspect, with some flowery language suggesting a story cooked up by Tidal brass.  “A deal with Tidal would bring two of the most legendary names in hip-hop to Apple’s camp, uniting East Coast and West Coast rap under a single business interest,” the Journal report waxed, sounding more like a press release than a hard-nosed business report.  And of course, a Tidal spokesperson declined to comment for the Journal’s report.

But what if this is coming from Apple?

There’s also the distinct possibility that Apple is the one juicing this story, with conflicting accounts reflecting an internal battle reportedly raging.  It’s all about agendas, and that has affected coverage at Digital Music News in the past.  Inside Apple, reports of internally warring camps abound, with opposing ideas on where to steer iTunes, Apple Music, and other music properties.  Hey, nothing like a splashy headline to push an internal agenda, though ultimately, this is just noise if an actual deal isn’t in place.

Yoel Molina Law

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