In 2015, around the same time that Jay Z bought Tidal’s parent company for $56 million, the New York Post reported that telecommunications giant Sprint had acquired a stake in the company. Sprint denied that report, but now, two years later, it has come to pass. Billboard reports that Sprint has spent $200 million on a 33% stake in Tidal.
According to Billboard, subscribers won’t see any change in the service. But now, Tidal will be available to Sprint’s 45 million customers, and Sprint and Tidal will partner up to release exclusives from the affiliated artists, all of whom will remain part owners. Tidal will also reportedly have a $75 million annual budget for artist initiatives and exclusives, which will be part of a “dedicated marketing fund.”
In a statement, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who has joined Tidal’s board of directors, says, “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.”
Meanwhile, Jay says, “Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential. Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”