Sprint to Purchase 33% Stake in Jay Z's Tidal
While Sprint did not say when the acquisition would be finalized, the new deal is part of a partnership between both companies where Sprint customers will receive exclusive Tidal content. Sprint has about 45 million retail customers.
Jay Z, as well as the group of artist-owners who helped introduce Tidal and who are involved in operations, including Beyoncé, Madonna, Kanye West, and Alicia Keys, will continue to run the service. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will join Tidal's board.
We'll do great things with @Sprint & can't wait to share our exclusive experiences with their 45 million customers. https://t.co/NFRCLgrneL pic.twitter.com/Szffu8W12W- TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) January 23, 2017
"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," said Claure in a statement.
"Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential," Jay Z said in a statement. "Marcelo understood our goal right away, and together we are excited to bring Sprint's 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience."
Jay Z bought Tidal two years ago for $56 million, but despite exclusive content and early access to high profile releases like Beyoncé's Lemonade , the streaming service has been overshadowed by its two main rivals, Spotify and Apple's AAPL Apple Music. Even its subscriber count has come under question by music industry analysts. This deal with Sprint, then, may be the lifeline Tidal needs.
Sprint had originally toyed with purchasing a large stake in Tidal back in 2015, but eventually walked away from any formal deal. And just last year, rumors swirled that Apple was thinking of acquiring Tidal in order to give Apple Music a little boost.
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