Jay Z and his business partners have sold a 33 per cent stake of music streaming service Tidal.
In a statement released on Monday (23Jan17), the rapper and businessman announced that he and his investors are selling a third of the subscription-based company to U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jay Z and the artist-owners will continue to run Tidal’s service, while Sprint chief executive officer Marcelo Claure will offer his business expertise by joining the board of directors.
“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” Jay Z said of the new partnership. “Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
With the venture, Claure says that Sprint will make Tidal available to its customers. He also hopes to soon extend the brand into new regions and offer up more exclusive artist content.
“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 unrivaled in quality and content,” stated Claure.
“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.”
Launched by in 2014 by Norwegian/Swedish company Aspiro, Tidal is a competitor of streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora Radio, and is backed by the likes of Jay Z’s wife Beyoncé Knowles, Kanye West and Madonna. But Tidal has had a rocky start since Jay Z bought the company for $56 million (£44 million) in March, 2015, with numerous executive reshuffles, criticism of high subscription fees and claims of inflated user numbers.