According to Billboard, Jay Z has reportedly sold a 33% stake of his Tidal music streaming service to Sprint for $200 million. It’s reported that Tidal will now be available to Sprint’s 45 million customers and the company’s CEO, Marcelo Claure, will become a member of Tidal’s board of directors.
Jay Z and the other artists/owners of Tidal will retain their stakes in the company, and the deal sets aside a $75 million fund dedicated to musicians’ exclusive releases.
In announcing the deal, 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.” Speaking about the deal, Jay Z said “Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”
Sprint’s purchase comes on the heels of a story that said Tidal was inflating their subscriber numbers. Tidal claims to have approximately 3 million subscribers but a Norwegian business newspaper, Dagens Naeringsliv, said they are more likely to have around 1 million users. The story credited Jay Z for being brilliant at “extracting value from seemingly impossible situations.”
It appears that Sprint isn’t concerned with the number of actual subscribers Tidal has, considering the fact they’ll be making the streaming service available to their 45 million customers. Representatives for Sprint and Tidal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Jay Z seems to have a knack for flipping businesses he buys at a relative bargain and then commanding a much higher price tag in a short amount of time. He originally purchased Tidal for $56 million in March 2015 and has more than tripled his money in less than two years. He’s reported to be number 11 on Forbes list of richest American celebrities with a net worth of $610 million.