Tidal just relaunched under Jay Z and an army of musical stars. Apple’s new music streaming service is still just a rumor, but the two companies may already be sparring over exclusive access to some of the biggest upcoming albums of 2015 and beyond.
In a new interview with Billboard, Jay Z suggests that Apple’s Jimmy Iovine has tried to lure away artists with the promise of more money. The rapper adds that he’s interested in working with competing streaming service’s, including Apple/Beats, though the response hasn’t been great. “It’s not about me and it’s not about [Iovine],” Jay Z argued. “It’s about the future of the music business.”
Tidal is set to offer exclusive access to new albums from its roster of artists for a limited time. In return, each musician gets a stake in the company, rather that just earning royalty payments when their music is streamed. Jay Z adds that he isn’t building a new label, instead calling the service a sort of digital “record store.”
Whether Tidal succeeds remains to be seen, but for Jay Z getting into the streaming market wasn’t really an option at this point. “When the biggest distributor of downloads says they’re going to start a streaming company,” he said, “I mean, I don’t know what more you need to know that it’s the next format.”
With Apple’s new service set to launch, this may be Jay Z’s last chance to guide the music industry.