Gossip about Tidal being up for sale have been floating in the ether for at least half a year, even if the potential suitors (Samsung, Rhapsody, Google) have changed.

This week’s rumour is that Apple is exploring an acquisition of the star-owned streaming service, and given that it was published by the Wall Street Journal’s most reliably-Apple-connected journalists, it should be taken seriously. “Apple is exploring the idea of bringing on Tidal to bolster its Apple Music service because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna,” claimed the report, while also carrying a denial from Tidal that its executives had held talks with Apple. The story includes a new figure for Tidal’s subscribers too: 4.2 million, up from three million before the release of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album. While any sale would likely be a nice payday for the artists with a stake in Tidal, the benefits for Apple are less obvious beyond ensuring the service isn’t snapped up by a rival.

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