Sprint has purchased 33 percent of TIDAL, the music streaming company owned by Jay Z and two dozen other artists. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Billboard reports the phone carrier invested $200 million.
Jay Z, who bought TIDAL for $56 million in 2015, issued a statement praising the investment. “Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” he said.
The New York Times reports the rapper and the other artists who introduced the service last year, including Arcade Fire, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Madonna, Jack White, Kanye West and Alicia Keys, will “continue to run the service.” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure will join the company’s board of directors.
All 45 million of Sprint’s customers will now have access to TIDAL as part of the deal, and the companies will work together to release exclusives. The streaming company’s estimated one million current subscribers won’t be effected by the partnership. Billboard also reports that the partnership will establish a $75 million “dedicated marketing fund” for new artist initiatives and exclusives.
The investment comes just days after Norwegian media outlet Dagens Næringsliv published a report claiming that TIDAL had artificially inflated its number of subscribers by over 300 percent.