Via a press release today, Sprint has announced their purchase of a 33% stake in Jay-Z’s struggling high-fidelity-focused music streaming service Tidal. The carrier calls the partnership “unprecedented” and will allow them to gain exclusive content from Tidal for their customers only.
Global music and entertainment platform TIDAL and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today an unprecedented partnership that will soon give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.
TIDAL and its artists will make exclusive content that will only be available to current and new Sprint customers.
It’s unclear how much Sprint paid for the stake or how customers will gain access to Tidal content (for example whether the app will come pre-installed on Sprint phones), but we should learn in the near future. It’s worth mentioning that Jay-Z and “the artist-owners will continue to run TIDAL’s artist-centric service as it pioneers and grows the direct relationship between artists and fans,” so it doesn’t look like much is gonna change thanks to this partnership other than exclusive content for Sprint subscribers.
Jay-Z released the following statement on the matter.
“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” said JAY Z. “Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
In addition, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure – who released the following statement – will be joining Tidal’s Board of Directors as a result of the deal.
“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,” said Claure. “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 has recently been trying to up their game in the music streaming business, by adding features to their platform such as “Master” recordings and “Track Edit.” However, with the company’s leading competition growing uncontrollably at this point, it’s unclear what the future of Tidal bestows. Sprint’s stake may help ease the stress of keeping Tidal’s neck above the water, but there’s no telling how long it’ll last.
As time progresses, we should learn more about the result of Sprint’s stake in Tidal, so stay tuned.