Tidal Sells Major Share To Smartphone Carrier
Tidal, the top end music streaming Company run by rap mogul Jay Z has a new shareholder after US carrier Sprint purchased one third of the Company.
Loved by top end Hi Fi Companies because of their high res audio, Sprint that the deal will give Sprint customers access to exclusive content on Tidal, though they must still sign up and pay for the streaming service.
Tidal’s current management team will keep running the service and Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure will join its board.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Jay Z bought the service in March 2015 for $56 million from Swedish company Aspiro, which had created the Tidal brand.
The Wall Street Journal said that Jay Z has given famous artists and bands small stakes in Tidal and promised each millions of dollar’s worth of marketing.
Tidal has been struggling to attract subscribers to keep up with larger rivals such as Spotify AB and Apple Music.
Sweden’s Spotify has more than 40 million paying subscribers, while Apple Music in December said that they had signed up 20 million paying subscribers. Tidal has 5 million subscribers many of them who signed up for a free service.
Earlier this month, industry tracker MiDia Research estimated Tidal had 1 million “commercially active subscribers.”
Tidal has amassed many of its subscribers through exclusive releases from superstar artists such as Kanye West, Rihanna and Beyoncé, many of whom are connected to Jay Z.
It also promotes itself as more artist-friendly and provides high-quality, so-called lossless streaming.
Streaming music is the U.S. recorded-music industry’s biggest revenue source, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Tidal charges $20 a month for a high-fidelity version of its 40 million-song catalog and $10 a month for download-quality sound.
Network service providers have been striking content deals to attract and retain new customers. Recently AT&T cut a deal with singer Taylor Swift to share exclusive videos with its customers.
Both Optus and Telstra are still trying to establish a content position up against the likes of Netflix and Spotify.