Sprint is acquiring 33% stake in Tidal, the streaming music service owned by rap mogul Jay Z, the wireless carrier announced Monday.
The deal is part of a partnership between the two companies where Sprint customers will receive exclusive content for customers who subscribe to Tidal. Sources said that the deal was worth about $200 million, valuing the Jay Z-controlled company at about $600 million. Sprint did not say when the acquisition would be complete.
“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,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure in a statement.
As part of the partnership, Sprint will make Tidal available to all of its 45 million customers, including pre-paid users, giving them full advantage of the many exclusives on the streaming site, which is one of the biggest selling points the platform has. In just over a year, Tidal has launched new albums from the likes of Rihanna, Kanye West and Beyoncé, as well as new songs, remixes, playlists, concerts and music videos from those artists and many others. The ability to watch or listen to these exclusives are limited to paying subscribers, as Tidal doesn’t have a free tier.
Sprint says the artist-owners who run Tidal will continue to run the streaming music service as before. Artists involved in the venture, including Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Madonna, each own 3% equity in Tidal, while Jay Z owns the remainder.