*Sprint customers will soon have exclusive access to Tidal content.
The wireless carrier has acquired a 33% stake in the streaming-music service led by Jay Z, and with the investment the wireless carrier will offer exclusive Tidal content available only to Sprint customers.
The carrier is investing $200 million in Tidal, giving the New York-based company a valuation of $600 million, Music Business World reported, citing anonymous sources. Sprint is majority-owned by Japanese telecom and Internet conglomerate SoftBank.
Under the pact, Jay Z and Tidal’s other artist owners will continue to run the service, while Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will join Tidal’s board of directors, according to Variety. The companies didn’t specify what Tidal content and “entertainment experiences” would be available on an exclusive basis to Sprint subscribers, saying they would provide additional details about that at a later date.
“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, which competes with rivals including Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play Music, offers access to more than 42.5 million songs and 140,000 videos, through its service available in more than 52 countries.
Last March, Tidal claimed to have topped 3 million subscriptions. But the service had only 1.2 million activated accounts and 850,000 paying customers in early 2016, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reported last week.
Tidal has experienced turmoil among its executive ranks and has been engaged in litigation on several fronts, including being sued by the estate of the late Prince over rights to his back catalog. Jay Z acquired Sweden-based Aspiro for $56 million in January 2015 and Tidal launched in March of that year.