Sprint has purchased 33% of Jay Z’s digital music streaming platform Tidal for $200 million, according to a report by Billboard.
Tidal will become available to 45 million Sprint customers as part of the deal, according to Billboard, while the new partnership also “includes the creation of a ‘dedicated marketing fund,’ which a source says will have an annual budget of $75 million solely for the artist initiatives and exclusives.”
“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,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who has now joined Tidal’s board of directors. “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.”
“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” added Jay Z in a statement. “Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
Despite boasting exclusive albums from a variety of artists including Beyonce, Kanye West, and Rihanna, Tidal lost $28 million in 2015.
Disregarding the financial loss, however, Tidal donated $1.5 million to #BlackLivesMatter and other social justice organizations last year— with the company’s owner Jay Z acting as a prominent Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter.