According to a report released by Billboard, Jay-Z is selling a third (33%) of his music streaming service Tidal to Sprint for $200 million.
The deal will make Tidal accessible to Sprint’s 45 million subscribers. Additionally, Sprint CEO, Marcelo Claure will become a member of the board of directors at Tidal. Meanwhile, Jay-Z and his fellow artists-turned-investors will maintain their stakes in Tidal.
The Sprint-Tidal agreement also includes a $75 million fund set aside for exclusive deals with musicians’ new releases.
In a statement, Sprint CEO Claure said, “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.”
Jay added, “Marcelo understood our goal right away, and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
It might be important to point out that the Sprint purchase of stakes at Tidal comes hot on the heels of a controversial story about the music streaming company released last Friday by Dagens Naeringsliv. The Norwegian business newspaper reported that the Oslo-based Tidal was inflating the numbers of subscribers. Apparently, Tidal had placed its subscribers numbers at 3 million, yet the real numbers were somewhere around 1 million.
The fact Sprint went ahead and bought a stake in Tidal in full knowledge of the allegations leveled against it could mean the allegations were false, or the telecom simply doesn’t care. Then again, Sprint has a subscriber base to the tune of 45 million; the 3-2 million in question about Tidal seem like a drop in the ocean.
It goes without saying, the partial sale of Tidal automatically improves Jay Z’s net worth, which according to Forbes is somewhere around $610 million. Jay-Z is estimated to have had invested $56 million into Tidal during its founding, albeit, still Forbes thinks the valuation of the company is much higher.