Jay-Z and Samsung seem to be having a rough time in the music business. Jay-Z’s investment in music streaming platform Tidal hasn’t gone as planned, and Samsung’s Milk Music hasn’t achieved the success the Korean manufacturer believed it would when the company launched the music service back in 2014. When you’re on the struggling end, you find solace in teaming up to do something together that you couldn’t do apart.
In walks a potential idea that could very well make the Galaxy S7 better than any Galaxy S smartphone to date, apart from its specs: what if Samsung and Jay-Z’s Tidal music streaming service teamed up? Earlier this week, rumors abounded that Jay-Z’s meeting with Samsung Research America in the same building in which the company’s Milk Music service is also operated could indicate that Jay-Z and Samsung are on the verge of a new “Tidal” wave (pun intended). If Samsung and Jay-Z team up, if the idea is possible and likely, what are the benefits? Who would benefit and how?
First, Jay-Z could benefit. Jay-Z’s own Tidal streaming service hasn’t made much of a scene in the music streaming world to match the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and no superstar wants to invest in a music streaming service to see it go downhill. If Jay-Z’s Tidal service goes to Samsung (and Jay-Z stays on to head up the music service), Jay-Z would gain a customer base and be able to promote all his albums as specials with the new music service. With Samsung’s marketing prowess and billions spent in marketing, Jay-Z’s Tidal music service would have good promotion and, in effect, would help the superstar with what has been a failing music service so far.
But, what’s a deal without joint benefit, right? Samsung would gain, too. With the help of Jay-Z, the Korean manufacturer could break through the music business, gain connections, promote its Milk Music service through Jay-Z and reach his fans, add to its small numbers in Milk Music, and offer premium and exclusive music content. In return, Jay-Z’s success in the industry could likely bring on a team of music superstars who would promote Samsung’s music service better than Samsung ever could. And, having Jay-Z at the forefront of the music service would help Samsung win some approval from diehard music fans in the US in particular, a place where it’s hard to penetrate the music business if you don’t have many or any connections.
Samsung could also have hi-fi audio as the goal in mind here. After all, Samsung has provided high-resolution screens to advance the industry to such an extent that soon, we’ll have higher-resolution screens for not only an in-house professional cinematic movie and TV show viewing experience but also the growth of virtual reality. Perhaps the Tidal acquisition would allow Samsung the ability to create a new frontier in the mobile space where audio becomes just as high-end as video playback and virtual reality are. Audio is part of the cinematic experience, and “surround sound” audio in smartphones is on the way (even if it isn’t here just yet). If Quad HD and 4K resolutions bring us closer to a 4K TV-viewing experience on our smartphones, hi-fi audio could bring us to a place where music playback mimics live music recordings. “In-studio audio” will become a new term for the smartphone audio experience.
If Samsung’s Milk Music service is powered by Tidal in the future (not Slacker), then the Korean manufacturer could revamp Milk Music and Milk Video completely. Milk Video as we know it is going away, but it’s not gone forever. Jay-Z and Tidal could help Samsung revamp Milk Video and Milk Music into something of a Vevo video or YouTube video/music contender. After all, neither Jay-Z nor Samsung have come this far in their financial investments to turn back the clock.
Samsung’s Milk Music app may prove to be the Galaxy S7’s “tidal wave.” Keep your ears to the ground and turn the music up loud.