Apple is reportedly in talks to buy Jay Z’s music-streaming service Tidal. Swedish company Aspiro sold Tidal to the Brooklyn-born music mogul for $56 million last year.
Hardly a done deal, negotiations are “ongoing,” as sources tell The Wall Street Journal.
For Apple, the news is another sign of desperation as hardware sales stall, and rivals invest heavily in content platforms, virtual assistants, AI, and other technologies that are together shaping the next generation of mobile devices.
In May, Apple said its Music service surpassed 13 million paid subscribers -- up from 11 million from two months earlier.
Yet Apple Music has received its fair share of criticism -- so much so that the tech giant is expected to revamp Apple Music, later this year.
In another sign of trouble, Apple recently launched a bid to lure college kids to its Music service with a half-off sale. Already in effect in Australia, the discount -- which lowers the subscription price from $9.99 to $4.99 -- is reportedly on its way to other markets, including the United States.
Of late, a chorus of critics has taken turns attacking Apple and its lack of investment in new technologies. Tumblr co-founder Marco Arment recently went so far as to suggest that Apple was in danger of becoming the next BlackBerry.
Eying big content plays, Apple reportedly considered buying Time Warner, late last year.
Branching out into other industries, meanwhile, Apple recently invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.
In a similarly unsettling development for Apple, the tech giant appears to be playing catch-up in an area it has long dominated: mobile hardware. As Amazon’s Echo continues to gain traction -- and Google prepares to launch its own smart speaker, Google Home -- Apple is reportedly developing a similar device.
Late or not, entering the smart-speaker race is a no-brainer. By 2020, half of all North American households with broadband will boast smart devices, according to a recent forecast from Parks Associates.