The world of digital streaming may be gearing up for the battle of the decade all thanks to Jay Z’s latest business venture that may come dangerously close to stepping on Apple’s toes.
Jay Z only recently purchased Aspiro, the Swedish company behind Tidal and WiMP, but it seems he’s already transformed Tidal into a top-notch competitor with the potential to overshadow Apple’s upcoming Beats streaming service.
There are certain names, certain brands and certain businesses that are deemed undefeatable in the eyes of many — hip-hop mogul Jay Z and tech giant Apple are among the names on this list.
So who wins a battle that pits both of these giants against one another?
According to the New York Post’s sources, here is how the match is stacking up so far.
In Apple’s corner we have rap icon Dr. Dre and mega-producer Jimmy Iovine who have been teaming up to overhaul Apple’s upcoming Beats music service.
In Tidal’s corner, we have hip-hop mogul and versatile entrepreneur Jay Z, international singing sensation Beyonce, self-proclaimed creative genius and rap veteran Kanye West, the leader of her own navy and Billboard chart-topper Rihanna … need we go on?
To be fair, all of the music moguls involved have a list of connections in the music and entertainment space that could trump a full encyclopedia set in length, and it’s hard to imagine any of them wouldn’t get their phone calls answered when they’re ready to talk business.
Sources claim, however, that Jay Z is possibly the only man who is actually more connected than the Beats duo.
“There’s only one person with a bigger Rolodex than Jimmy Iovine and that’s Jay Z,” one source said.
Jay Z’s advantage doesn’t just stop at connections and contacts either.
While Tidal is earning a reputation as the streaming platform “by artists, for artists,” Apple’s iTunes service has already garnered a negative reputation for playing hardball with record labels.
That type of reputation could be difficult to overcome as the company prepares to launch its Beats service.
“Jay Z’s whole approach is, they’re created by artists, supported by artists,” one anonymous label executive told the New York Post. “The more players the better.”
With Roc Nation under Jay Z’s belt as well, he has a plethora of key players in the music business that his company represents, including Kanye West and DJ DeadMau5.
It creates a possible team roster that is not only extensive in size and impressive in the overall quality of music, but also extremely diverse.
With his own loyal following of hip-hop heads, his wife’s team of pop-loving BeeHive dwellers and DJ DeadMau5’s fanbase of both progressive-house music lovers and those who are just fascinated with his funky mouse heads, Tidal already has a diverse network ready to be tapped into.
Not to mention Tidal made a huge play by securing a deal with Taylor Swift shortly after she cut ties with Spotify.
“If you are Jimmy, you’ve got to be thinking, this guy is beating me to the punch at trying to get all the artists,” another source said.
Jay Z’s rumored guest list for his New York launch event for Tidal on Monday is yet another look into the wide span of award-winning artists who are getting behind the service.
Reports revealed that Rihanna, Madonna and Coldplay are just a few of the major stars who are rumored to be attending the lavish event.
It all signifies a few powerful first blows coming out of Tidal’s corner, but since Apple’s Beats service doesn’t plan on launching until the summer it’s hard to gauge how powerful the response will be from the opposing corner.
Regardless, one thing is already certain.
As another source put it, Jay Z is clearly “disrupting Apple’s venture.”