US carrier Sprint has announced that it is acquiring a substantial chunk of Tidal, the music streaming service co-owned by Jay Z and numerous other artists. The deal comes six months after Apple was rumored to be interested in purchasing the entire company.
Sprint - over two-thirds of which is owned by Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank, which acquired processor specialist ARM last year - is taking a 33% stake in Tidal, in what it called a "game-changing" and "unprecedented partnership". Sprint said today:
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.
Tidal is available in 52 countries with over 42 million songs and 140,000 music videos available in its catalog. But in its announcement today, Sprint said that the deal "will soon give [its] 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else." It added that "TIDAL and its artists will make exclusive content that will only be available to current and new Sprint customers."
"More news on exclusive offers and upcoming promotions" as part of the new partnership between the two companies is promised soon.