Telecoms giant takes $200m stake in Jay Z's Tidal
Sprint has acquired a 33pc stake in music-streaming service Tidal, as the US's fourth-largest wireless carrier turns to media streaming to attract more customers with exclusive content.
Marcelo Claure, Sprint's ceo, will join the Tidal board and musician Jay Z will continue to run the business, according to yesterday's statement. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Sprint paid $200m (€186m) for the stake, according to a report in MusicBusinessWorldwide.
Sprint's pact with Tidal comes after larger wireless rivals added streaming services to features offered to subscribers. AT&T waives data charges to customers who subscribe to its online TV service, DirecTV Now. Verizon Communications provides customers with free streaming of NFL games and its go90 video service. T-Mobile US lets users stream music and video from more than 100 partners without racking up big bills.
Shares in Sprint rose as much as 2.8pc to $9.18 (€8.50) in New York yesterday - their highest since June. Tidal has struggled to add customers in a market dominated by Stockholm-based Spotify, Apple and Pandora Media.
Tidal was in discussions with Apple about a sale last year, according to a 'Wall Street Journal' report. The company also tried to attract interest from Samsung in early 2016, according to 'Variety'. Tidal said last year that it had surpassed three million paying customers - but since then, there have been questions about whether the company has been able to hold on to users. (Bloomberg)