Sprint buys 33 percent of Tidal, pair teaming to combat Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora

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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, Beyonc?, 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.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,225member
    I gave Tidal a try for a month but just didn't see enough difference in quality, plus the emphasis on HipHop/Urban didn't help with my favored genres discovery.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,024member
    Sprint is known to throw good money after bad.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    The enclosed photo of West and Jay Z look like they're clapping at a funeral.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,184member
    Looks like some money wasted on this bad deal. This is will nothing to help Tidal. Spotify had the advantage of basically being out there first and offering a free service. But they also haven't made a profit in all these years. In fact every year they lose more and more money. Apple Music will continue to grow because #1, It's a part of iOS. You don't have to download a App to use. Goes to show how lazy some people can be. But also offers better features for some things like built in Siri support. What does Tidal offer that anyone really cares about? Short period exclusives? If you want people to hear your music and more importantly MAKE MONEY, you sure don't limit yourself to Tidal.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    I'm confused - weren't exclusive deals smacked down last year?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    Lol, 0.1% total stream...A troubled streaming service partners with a troubled cellular phone service provider...anything can be better than this combo!
  • Reply 7 of 8
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,673member
    They actually found someone who took an interested and was willing to put money in. I doubt having sprint promote them will make it any better.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,225member
    mknelson said:
    I'm confused - weren't exclusive deals smacked down last year?
    No they weren't. Nothing wrong with exclusives AFAIK. Apple offers 'em. 
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