Sprint buys 33 percent of Tidal, pair teaming to combat Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora
Sprint has announced that it has forged a deal for 33 percent ownership of music streaming service Tidal, and as part of the deal, Sprint customers will receive "exclusive artist content" not available anywhere else.
"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 co-founder of the service Jay Z. "Together we are excited to bring Sprint's 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience."
It is not clear how much content will be limited to Sprint subscribers, nor is it known if Sprint customer will receive the service for free, at a discount, at the normal rate, or at a premium for the exclusives.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will be joining the Tidal board of directors.
According to a recent report, Apple Music provides 13.35 percent of all streaming revenue, with 7.18 percent of the streaming quantity. By comparison, Spotify generated 69.57 percent of the revenue from 62.97 percent of streams in the measured period.
Tidal reportedly holds 0.1 percent of the total streams, and 0.33 percent of the stream revenue.
When Jay-Z relaunched Tidal last year, he divvied up minor ownership rights to big-name artists like West, BeyoncÃ©, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin, Rihanna, Usher, Jack White and others. A number of minority owners have since released albums on the service as windowed exclusives, including West, who begged fans to subscribe after the debut of his last album, "Life of Pablo."
Despite an all-star content lineup, in March 2016 Tidal announced a paid subscriber base of only 3 million users. At the time, Apple Music's base came in at 11 million paying subscribers, a figure that has since grown to more than 15 million customers. Both services pale in comparison to market leader Spotify, which boasts some 30 million subscribers.