Sprint just bought a 33% stake in the music-streaming service Tidal.
Tidal, which is co-owned by Jay Z and more than a dozen other artists, will provide Sprint’s retail customers with access to exclusive content not available to other Tidal users.
Sprint’s CEO, Marcelo Claure, will join Tidal’s board of directors.
“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.”
Tidal saw a surge in users after Beyoncé made her 2016 album, “Lemonade,” available exclusively on the service.
While Tidal saw net losses of $28 million in 2015, revenue was up 30% from the year before.
Apple — which has its own streaming service, Apple Music — was reportedly in talks with Tidal about a possible acquisition last June, but shut down those rumors in September.
Last week Tidal was accused of inflating its user numbers.
Here’s the full press release:
NEW YORK & OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.
As part of the partnership, Sprint will acquire 33 percent of TIDAL. 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. The formidable pairing of Sprint and TIDAL will grow customers on both platforms by offering exclusive access for customers who subscribe to TIDAL. Sprint’s chief executive officer, Marcelo Claure, will also join TIDAL’s Board of Directors.
“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.”
TIDAL is a global, experiential, entertainment platform built for fans, directly from artists around the world. Members of TIDAL enjoy unmatched exclusively curated content that directly connects artists with their fans in multiple ways. TIDAL is available in more than 52 countries, with a more than 42.5 million song catalog and 140,000 high quality videos.
The innovative TIDAL platform, combined with Sprint’s award-winning reliable network and best value for unlimited data, talk and text, will deliver a first-of-its-kind experience for music fans.
“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.”
More news on exclusive offers and upcoming promotions from Sprint and TIDAL will be unveiled soon.
Sprint’s dedication to its customers and to artists is at the heart of the partnership. Part of that effort will include the establishment of a dedicated marketing fund specifically for artists. The fund will allow artists the flexibility to create and share their work with and for their fans.
The Sprint-TIDAL partnership comes on the heels of TIDAL’s recent announcement revealing the availability of “Master” quality recordings. A wide variety of content from labels and artists, including Warner Music Group’s world-renowned music catalogue, is now available in Master audio across all of TIDAL’s available markets worldwide.