Sprint Buys 33 Percent Stake In Jay-Z’s Tidal Streaming Music Service

In the words of Young Hova, “I'm not a 'Businessman'! I'm a Business, man! Let me handle my business, damn!” Sprint just purchased a 33% stake in TIDAL, Jay-Z’s streaming music service. Estimates for the stake range greatly from between $33 to $225 million.

TIDAL was a music streaming startup that had its origins in Norway, but was majority acquired by Jay-Z in 2015. Jay-Z relaunched the platform and offered high-definition audio with an emphasis on exclusive content from specific popular artists. TIDAL is currently available in 52 countries with with more than a 42.5 million song catalog and 140,000 high quality videos. Customers can pay $9.99 a month for regular content or $19.99 for high-definition content.
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Jay-Z remarked, “Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential.” Sprint’s CEO, Marcelo Claure, followed up with “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.”

Jay-Z and the other artist-owners will continue to run the company, however, Claure will also join TIDAL’s Board of Directors. TIDAL will create exclusive content for Sprint’s 45 million post and prepaid customers. Sprint and TIDAL announced a collaboration at TIDAL’s relaunch in 2015, but never offered any details. There were previous rumors that TIDAL was also in talks with Apple and Rhapsody.

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Sprint has worked with other music streaming services in the past. In 2014 it began a partnership deal with Spotify. Customers can still get Spotify Premium for six months free when they sign-up for high tiers of Sprint’s services. It is unclear exactly how the relationship between Sprint and TIDAL will play out.
Tags:  Sprint, (NYSE:S), jay-z, tidal