TIDAL sells 33% stake for $200m to Softbank-owned telco Sprint

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Well, well, well.

Less than a day after MBW ruminated on whether TIDAL would be able to secure some outside help with its funding – and survive without it – a major development has been confirmed.

US telco Sprint – which boasts 45 million retail customers and is majority-owned by Japanese giant Softbank – has acquired a 33% stake in TIDAL, it’s been announced.

Sources tell MBW that the sale cost Sprint around $200m, valuing TIDAL at $600m.

Sprint’s chief executive officer, Marcelo Claure, will also join TIDAL’s Board of Directors.

In exchange for its new ownership stake, TIDAL has inked a deal with Sprint which it says will “make exclusive content that will only be available to current and new Sprint customers”.

An official note from TIDAL said: ‘Jay Z and 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.’

“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

“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 Jay Z.

“Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”

“Jay saw not only a business need, but a cultural one, and put his heart and grit into building TIDAL into a world-class music streaming platform that is unrivaled in quality and content,” said Claure.

“The passion and dedication that these artist-owners bring to fans will enable Sprint to offer new and existing customers access to exclusive content and entertainment experiences in a way no other service can.”

TIDAL confirmed today that its service is available in more than 52 countries, with a more than 42.5 million song catalog and 140,000 high quality videos.

However, it stopped short at giving a subscriber update.

According to Midia Research, TIDAL finished 2016 with 1.0m paying customers worldwide – far smaller than the subscriber figure we’d been led to believe it had procured.

A US major record company source told MBW on Friday that TIDAL had not reported to their business for around six months.Music Business Worldwide

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  • reality

    Category: The 2010s

    Question: “What are Sprint and Tidal?”

    Answer: “These now-defunct companies, one a streamer and the other a telcom, once combined forces in an effort to maintain relevancy.”

  • Minister Stevie Tee Thompson

    Christian Rapper king Stevian says Jay Z waited like a soldier in hiding then clapped back at his enemy. Both Sprint and Tidal are planning something big….lol Like 45 million subscribers big….3 more million customers for Sprint then they automatically sign up for Tidal. 1 million subs + 3 million subs = 4 million new Tidal Subscribers and Sprint gets 33% of the recurring income.

  • iLexx

    I don’t see anybody talking about what this valuation means for artist owners and investors. But if the artists own 3%, like was previously reported, a $600m valuation, values their share at 18m and that’s a good look for the artists involved. 18m may not be life changing money to some of them but either way you slice it, it’s some decent bread.

    All the investors that were involved with Project Panther Bidco Ltd, which I believe was the fund that JAY Z used to purchase Tidal, they have got to be happy campers right now.

    Also, if the 75m budget for artist exclusives and initiatives is true, then Jay really just got everything he needed to start putting Tidal on the map. Ppl don’t realize they’ve built this brand so far without a proper advertising budget. Apple has been advertising since before it launched. So this is a good look but of course we’ve gotta see how this helps Tidal convert more people into paid customers. Only time will tell.

  • Good point. This new deal will do good for both Tidal and Sprint and the timing could not be any better

  • Calvin Flowers

    hmm