Word on the street (via Variety.com) is that is gearing up to acquire ; the news first broke on The Financial Times.

Cleary it wouldn’t be for the subscriber base but rather the unpaid customers that make up a majority of ’s usage each month. From the Variety piece:

is the market leader in the growing paid streaming business, disclosing earlier this month that it now has more than 40 million paying subscribers. Its biggest competitor is Apple Music with 17 million paying subscribers.

I wonder if we’re going to see more and more consolidation here, perhaps as we see devices now converging on the Apple-or-Google choice that users make before they dive in whole-heartedly. -or-iTunes is definitely going to be a longer battle than perhaps anyone anticipated, especially the TIDAL team.

Both offerings are unique enough that the acquisition could really prove mutually beneficial to both user bases. And I say great, because the last thing I want is multiple different paid accounts in order to get access to all the music I want. The less payments I need to make and the larger reach of the catalog, the better for me.

Update: this deal was canceled.