Jay-Z sells 33 percent of Tidal’s stake to Sprint in new partnership
Tidal, the premium music-streaming service that is co-owned by hip-hop artist Jay Z, announced today that they would be forming a partnership with Sprint after the telecommunication giant purchased a 33 percent stake in the company.
The deal is reportedly worth around $200 million according to Billboard, and will allow Sprint's 45 million customers to access to Tidal's services, along with exclusive content that will only be available to new and existing Sprint users.
“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 commented 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.”
Marcelo Claure, Sprint's chief executive officer, will also join Sprint's board of directors. Meanwhile, Jay Z and the other two dozen artists who hold ownership in Tidal will continue to focus on the relationship between the music industry and its fans.
Along with this deal comes a "dedicated marketing fund," which would see an annual budget of $75 million allocated to artist-oriented promotions and exclusive content that will not be available on the other top streaming services. For current subscribers of Tidal, nothing will change about the way you use the platform.
“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,” Claure stated. “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.”
According to Tidal, the service is available in more than 52 countries, with a song catalog of more than 42.5 million and 140,000 high quality videos. Upon announcing it's relaunch back in 2015, Tidal had reportedly been in talks with Sprint, although Sprint was quick to back out of any commitment at the time. Now, with the new partnership, both companies are hoping to capitalize thanks to each other's customer base.
Tidal, which does not have a free option for its services, provides a basic subscription at $9.99, and a premium audio quality option for $19.99, but now, all Sprint customers will also have access to Tidal, giving the servce substantial access to new users. Meanwhile, Sprint's unlimited data option will also allow its customers to stream music, videos, and performances on Tidal from wherever they please, and without any extra cost.
Just last week, Tidal was accused of inflating their number of users, as a Norweigan newspaper Dagens Naerinsliv reported that when Tidal had claimed to have reached three million subscribers in March of 2016, they had in fact only had 850,000, with 1.2 million activated accounts. This came after last year's similar accusation that Jay Z had been sold inflated numbers regarding Tidal's users, causing him to make numerous executive changes and forcing him into a lawsuit.
Tidal lost about $28 million in 2015, and we are still waiting to see its numbers from 2016, which saw the exclusive releases of premier albums such as Beyoncé's Lemonade, and Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo.
In the past, Sprint had carried exclusive offers with Spotify, offering discounted subscription rates after a six month free trial. However, that is expected to no longer be a promotion, although it is still available for the time being. Tidal is sure to get a financial boost and a lot more users from this big-time deal, and Sprint will likely facilitate a progressive vision for the company's growth.
Are you a Sprint customer? How about a Tidal subscriber? Let us know what you think about the new partnership in the comments!
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