Softbank-owned Sprint is buying a stake in Jay Z's Tidal

 
Lynsey Barber
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Jay Z's Tidal battles against Spotify, Apple Music and others for users (Source: Getty)

Jay Z's music streaming service Tidal, a smaller rival to Spotify and Apple Music, has a new investor.

Softbank-owned US telecoms firm Sprint has snapped up a 33 per cent stake in the company which the rapper acquired two years ago.

That means 45m Sprint customers will now have "unlimited access" to the platform's exclusive music.

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"Sprint shares our view of revolutionising the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” said Jay Z.

“Marcelo [Claure, Sprint chief executive] understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45m customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”

It comes just days after claims that Tidal inflated its user numbers.

Tidal said it had 3m users in March 2016, but a report by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv on Friday claimed it has just 1.2m active users and fewer than 1m paying subscribers.

Tidal has not responded to the report.

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Investors in the platform also include artists such as Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Coldplay. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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 unrivalled in quality and content. 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.”

Apple Music boasts 20m subscribers and Spotify 40m, while Amazon has launched its own service in recent months in the highly competitive world of music streaming.

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