SAN FRANCISCO - Apple is exploring the purchase of rival music streaming service Tidal, which is run by rap star Jay-Z, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The paper said Apple is interested in using the company to beef-up its own year-old steaming service Apple Music.
Talks between the companies are ongoing and might not result in a tie-up, the Journal said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Executives at Tidal have not spoken with Apple about being acquired, the Journal reported, quoting a Tidal spokesperson.
Apple declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
Tidal soared in popularity early this year after Beyonce released her latest album "Lemonade" exclusively on the service, although it was also broadcast in a film version on HBO and quickly made available on iTunes.
Tidal, which had a mixed reception after its relaunch last year, has heavily promoted exclusives, such as albums by Rihanna and Kanye West.
The company has been trying to seize some of the fast-growing streaming market from Spotify, which focuses on wide and easy access rather than exclusives.
Tidal subscriptions cost $10 (S$13) or $20 monthly, depending on whether a user wants high-fidelity sound.
Jay-Z bought Tidal from Europe-based Aspiro early last year in a deal valued at slightly more than $56 million.