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    For streaming junkies, this is from this a.m.'s Wall Street Journal


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    For streaming junkies, this is from this a.m.'s Wall Street Journal Empty For streaming junkies, this is from this a.m.'s Wall Street Journal

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:30 pm

    Why Apple May Roll Up Tidal
    Apple Music benefits from a huge installed base, but service is still a work in progress
    July 1, 2016 1:30 p.m. ET
    Apple’s early efforts in music streaming could stand as an interesting sort of Rorschach test.

    In one light, the world’s richest company has amassed only half the paying subscribers as category leader Spotify in a year’s time. Said another way, it took Apple only one year to persuade 15 million people to pay for its streaming service. It took Spotify about seven years to get to that point.

    Both are useful to think about in light of the news that Apple is exploring a potential acquisition deal with Tidal, a streaming service run by rapper Jay Z and co-owned by several other top-selling music acts. Beyoncé and Kanye West released their latest albums as exclusives to Tidal, which has helped the service garner 4.2 million paying subscribers. The talks are continuing, and the potential price is unknown.

    The first point suggests there is room in the streaming music business for more than one big player. Digital music sales revenue was $6.7 billion last year, up 10% from the prior year and eclipsing physical music sales for the first time, according to industry data cited by RBC Capital. Subscription streaming accounted for 32% of total digital revenue in 2015 compared with 23% the year before.

    The second point suggests a certain power to convenience. Apple Music is already embedded on most of the company’s devices in operation. That’s a huge addressable market; Cowen estimates that Apple Music subscribers account for just 2.5% of active iPhones in the market. It’s an advantage that somewhat offsets an awkward user interface.

    Buying Beats two years ago helped Apple jump-start its streaming efforts. But the company’s interest in Tidal is evidence that the service is still a work in progress.

    Write to Dan Gallagher at

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