Just like a desperate dad trying to get rid of a pair of dust-covered cross-country skis, Jay Z has managed to find someone willing to drop some cash into the allegedly bottomless financial pit that is Tidal. And sorry Kanye, but it’s not Apple.
A source tells Billboard that Sprint acquired a 33% stake in Tidal for $200 million. Based solely on what I’ve picked up from watching Shark Tank, that means that Tidal is valued at $600 million. For perspective, Jay Z bought Tidal for $56 million.
The details of the deal are that Sprint will own 33% and Jay Z and the two-dozen artist-owners will own the rest. Tidal will now become available for Sprint’s customers, and the two companies will partner for exclusive releases. Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure will join Jay Z on Tidal’s board of directors. Jay Z released a statement on the sale:
“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential. Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
This isn’t the first time Sprint showed an interest in Tidal. A few weeks after Tidal’s huge launch in 2015, Sprint denied a rumor that they had purchased a stake in the company.
I don’t know if this is a good financial move or a bad one. But I can say that Sprint’s partial-purchase of Tidal is great news for pun-lovers. I can already see the headlines about Marcelo Claure waking up to yet another Tidal lawsuit and sprint-ing to his accountant to see if it’s possible to get a $200 million refund.