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Let’s hashtag this out.
NEGOTIATION TACTICS

Kanye West confirms that Apple Music and Tidal are talking, in the most Kanye West way possible

Kira Bindrim
By Kira Bindrim

Managing editor

It’s been exactly a month since reports surfaced that Apple was in talks to acquire Tidal, the music streaming service owned by Jay Z. On Saturday (July 30), Kanye West seemed to confirm those rumors with a Twitter rant that suggests the conversations are going….less than smoothly.

This Tidal Apple beef is fucking up the music game.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016

I need Tim Cook Jay Z Dez Jimmy Larry me and Drake Scooter on the phone or in a room this week!!!

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016

Fuck all this dick swinging contest. We all gon be dead in 100 Years. Let the kids have the music.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016

Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop trying to act like you Steve.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016

When The Wall Street Journal reported in June (paywall) that Tidal and Apple were in negotiations, a Tidal spokesman denied the rumors. Tidal did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday. 

Jay Z bought Tidal in March 2015 from Aspiro, a Swedish company. The acquisition came with a $56 million price tag and was followed by a rather self-serious launch party that included everyone from Nicki Minaj to Madonna signing a petition to revolutionize the music industry. 

Since then, Tidal has hit some rough patches, and has struggled to attract a large user base on the strength of its “superior sound” alone. Tidal says it has 4.2 million subscribers, compared to 30 million for Spotify. The company has also suffered from high turnover in its management ranks.

Of course Kanye—currently being sued over the dubious Tidal exclusivity of his latest album, The Life of Pablo—may simply be suggesting a deal, and calling the stakeholders to the table via Twitter. But it seems more likely he’s pioneering a new types of M&A, where boardroom negotiations are executed in public and in 140 characters or less.

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