Jan 24, 2017

Sprint to acquire 1/3 of Jay-Z's Tidal

Matthew Harrison

What's Tidal? It's a subscription-based, music streaming service that distributes audio, music videos and editorial to subscribers for roughly $10-$20 monthly, depending on the subscription package. Most people first heard of Tidal when it exclusively debuted Beyonce's 2016 mega-hit, Lemonade.


What's in the deal? According to Sprint:

  • TIDAL and its artists will deliver exclusive content to help Sprint acquire new customers and reward current customers
  • Sprint will make TIDAL available to its 45 million post and prepaid customers
  • Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will join TIDAL's Board of Directors

How much did it cost? Per Billboard, Sprint paid around $200 million for the stake and also agreed pay an additional $75 million to create a "dedicated marketing fund," for artist initiatives and exclusives going forward.

What's in it for Jay-Z? It's not a great time to be in the music streaming business, unless you're Spotify or Apple Music, which have 40 million and 20 million subscribers, respectively. Jay-Z's Tidal lags far behind both streaming giants with three million reported subscribers, and some say that number may be inflated. Tidal also reported major losses in 2015 and tried unsuccessfully to sell the service to Apple in 2016. Jay-Z himself also admitted that Tidal paid the highest royalty service to record labels, and that's without a free model that other streaming services offer.

What's in it for Sprint? The telecomm giant is lagging far behind its competitors in subscribers. According to Barron's, its unlimited data offering, which differentiates Sprint from Verizon and AT&T, supports streaming services like Tidal, and could help Sprint allure new customers and retain existing subscribers.

Source: Strategy Analytics via FierceWireless

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.