Sprint has acquired a 33 percent stake in Jay Z’s music-streaming platform Tidal, with the telecommunications giant set to offer Tidal as a bundled service to its 45 million customers.
The news comes almost two years to the day after Jay Z — under his real name Shawn Carter — announced he was buying Swedish company Aspiro AB, the firm that owned Tidal, as well as Norway-based WiMP Music.
Jay Z has used his many connections in the music industry to create a celebrity-endorsed Spotify alternative that offers lossless-quality streaming, but it hasn’t really captured the public’s imagination. It has enjoyed spikes in popularity, however, thanks to exclusive tie-ups with big-name artists such as Kanye West. But with rumors abounding that Tidal was in trouble and was reportedly inflating its subscriber numbers fraudulently, a partial acquisition by a major technology company with significant reach makes sense.