It was only a matter of time before Jay-Z found a way to get people to start subscribing to Tidal. The music mogul and a group of other celebrity musicians, acquired Tidal in March of 2015. It was received with lackluster enthusiasm as people balked at the idea of paying for streaming music. This week it was announced that Sprint, in an effort to keep older and lure in newer customers, has bought a third of Tidal.
Sprint is currently the fourth largest wireless carrier with approximately 45 million customers. This move makes Sprint more of a contender against the big three. Verizon and AT&T both have music streaming services available for their customers through their phones. T-Mobile, the third largest company, has not implicated streaming music yet, giving Sprint a slight edge with this acquisition.
Sprint customers in over 52 countries will now have access to Tidal’s more than 42.5 million songs and 140,000 music videos. In addition, Sprint will create a $75 million marketing fund to assist artists to create and share music videos.
Sprint has not announced how much it paid for a 33% share in the company, however, Billboard has said it was $200 million, citing an unnamed source. Under this new deal, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, will now sit on Tidal’s board of directors. “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,” Claure said.
In a prepared statement, Jay-Z said, “Sprint shares our view of revolutionising the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential.” Of Sprint’s CEO, Jay-Z said “Marcelo [Claure], understood our goal right away, and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
Sprint has said that Tidal artist will create exclusive content available only to Sprint customers. Hopefully this deal will bring a business boost for both companies. Tidal last reported having 3 million sucribers in March 2016, a huge difference in Spotify’s 40 million subscribers. Even Apple Music, which was launched after Tidal, reported 20 million subscribers by September of last year.
Along with Sprint and Jay-Z, Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Madonna, Jack White, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and a host of other musicians are part owners of Tidal.