Yesterday, Sprint announced that it will be acquiring a 33 percent stake in TIDAL, the music streaming service owned by Jay-Z. The deal will reportedly give Sprint’s 45 million customers access to exclusive artist content created by TIDAL.
TIDAL is a global, curated entertainment platform. Founded in 2014, the music streaming service is available in over 52 countries worldwide. As of now, TIDAL boasts a song catalog of over 42.5 million and features over 140,000 high-quality videos.
Marcelo Claure, CEO of Sprint, said in a company statement, “Jay saw not only a business need, but a cultural one, and put his heart and grit into building TIDAL into a world-class music streaming platform that is unrivaled in quality and content. The passion and dedication that these artist-owners bring to fans will enable Sprint to offer new and existing customers access to exclusive content and entertainment experiences in a way no other service can.”
TIDAL costs users $9.99 monthly, or $19.99 for access to hi-fidelity audio. As part of the deal, Claure will join the TIDAL board of directors and Sprint will contribute to a marketing fund specifically for TIDAL artists. Jay-Z bought TIDAL back in March 2015 for $56 million from Swedish firm Aspiro. The rap mogul then gave stakes in the firm to 19 prominent artists and made promises of millions in marketing.
In Sprint’s statement, Jay-Z said, “Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential. Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
The news of Sprint acquiring stake comes just a few months after Apple’s reported acquisition plans for the music streaming service turned out to be rumors. Turns out, Apple didn’t have have any interest whatsoever in purchasing any streaming services — at least not TIDAL— despite rumors. Apple ended conversations about buying TIDAL in 2014.