Sprint acquires a third of Tidal shares days after inflation of subscriber numbers uncovered


Jay Z’s Tidal and U.S.-based telco Sprint recently announced a partnership that will see Sprint acquire a third of Tidal’s shares.

Through this partnership, Sprint will give its 45 million retain customers access to exclusive content not available through any other platform. Otherwise, very little information has been provided about the deal, including how much Sprint paid for its shares or how Sprint customers will access Tidal.

“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” said Jay Z in a statement.

“Marcelo [Sprint’s CEO) understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”

Discussions began over a year ago

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of a Sprint-Tidal deal, as Sprint confirmed in August of 2015 to be in discussions with Tidal. However, at the time, no formal or financial commitment had been made.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who will join Tidal’s board of directors, credits the acquisition to fulfilling both a business and a cultural need.

“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 Claure in a statement.

“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.”

Caught inflating subscriber numbers

This news comes just days after news broke of Tidal exaggerating its subscriber numbers by more than half, claiming three million when in reality the number fell somewhere closer to 1.2 million.

The claims were first reported by the Norwegian paper Dagens Næringslivwhich revealed that while Tidal recently confirmed to press that it had reached three million subscribers, it had only submitted payments to record companies for 850 thousand subscribers and 1.2 million activated accounts. 

These numbers don’t compare favourably to the likes of Spotify’s 40 million subscribers and Apple Music’s 20 million subscribers.

The release went on to state that more information on the exclusive offers for Sprint customers will be unveiled soon.