TIDAL and Sprint in a joint announcement revealed today that Sprint has acquired 33% of Tidal, the streaming platform acquired by Jay-z for $56Million in 2015.
TIDAL's model was designed to offer a slap in the face to the likes of Spotify, giving two dozen artist's part ownership of the streaming platform and promising to offer better remuneration from the digital revenue generated through their music. The acquisition by Sprint, which is reported to be a $200Million deal, will not interfere with TIDAL's artists owners , who will remain part owners of the streaming platform.
Confirmation of the acquisition comes at an interesting time, amid accusations by Norwegian media platform Dagens Naeringsliv that TIDAL have been falsely representing their subscription numbers. Following the release of Kanye West's Life of Pablo TIDAL claimed in 2016 that subscription figures were at 3 million with an additional 1.2 million increase of paid subscribers following the release of Beyonce's 'Lemonade'. While analytics show that TIDAL actually only has 850K paid subscribers, controlling less than %1 of the subscription market. The report also claims that Tidal is losing close to $750,000 per day, indicating a dire need for increased funding and a more functioning model to compete on the streaming market.
An analysis released yesterday by MBW titled 'Smashed by Spotify can Tidal find a future which doesn't end badly?' highlights further scepticism over TIDAL's ability to survive.
Perhaps the 33% acquisition by Sprint is just the saviour TIDAL needs, the partnership means that TIDAL are able to tap into Sprint's 45 Million retail customers, and develop more exclusive content for its user base.
In a statement welcoming the partnership, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says "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 unrivalled in quality and content.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.”