Apple 'considering takeover' of Jay Z's Tidal streaming service
Apple is reportedly considering a potential takeover bid for Jay Z's music-streaming service Tidal.
The technology giant is exploring the idea of acquiring Tidal because of its strong ties to popular artists including Kanye West and Madonna, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Sources told the newspaper that "exploratory talks" were continuing and they may not result in a deal.
But a Tidal spokesman denied its executives had discussed a deal with Apple, the Wall Street Journal said.
Jay Z joined forces with a host of music stars in March last year to unveil Tidal as a rival to Spotify, following criticism of the amount they pay acts in royalties.
Swedish technology company Aspiro, which owned Tidal, was bought out by the rap mogul for $56 million (£42 million).
Jay Z was joined at a launch event in New York by West, Alicia Keys and his wife Beyonce, who have stakes in the company, along with fellow Tidal co-owners Calvin Harris and Chris Martin, who appeared via video link.
Last month West used Tidal to unveil the controversial video to his song Famous, featuring depictions of a host of naked celebrities including Taylor Swift.
West is also being sued by a fan who claims he and Tidal tricked people into subscribing to the music streaming service by fraudulently claiming it was the only way to buy West's album "The Life of Pablo." The rapper released the album 1-1/2 months later on Apple Music and Spotify, and on his own website.
Madonna's video for the track B**** I'm Madonna was also shown exclusively on the service for 24 hours before being released to the wider public.
Tidal is also the only streaming service offering the back catalogue of the late music superstar Prince, who died in April after an accidental overdose.
The site's flagship £19.99 monthly subscription fee - which includes high definition audio and HD music videos - is double the amount of the highest Spotify monthly cost. Tidal also offers a £9.99 monthly deal in line with its rivals.