Jay-Z’s Tidal Gets Sprint, Softbank As New Partners

Jay-Z’s new project, Tidal, is getting new partners and more recognition.

According to the New York Post, Tidal, the new streaming music subscription service, is adding Sprint and Softbank to its list of partners. Though details of the additions were not disclosed, the deal increases the value of Tidal to approximately $250 million.

Jay-z finalized the purchase of Tidal from former owner Aspiro for just over $56 million. Tidal has garnered over 100,000 subscribers since the transfer of ownership. Jay-Z brought many high-powered friends on stage to commemorate the sale, including Kanye West, Rihanna, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, and Daft Punk.

Part of the new deal with Sprint will include an app for Sprint subscribers so they can access Tidal directly from their cell phones. Prices and details will be announced once the service becomes available to Sprint users.

The launch is not going quite as smooth as the staged press conference. Right now, customers are being told they can subscribe to Tidal at $9.99 per month for a standard service or $19.99 for a premium service. However, the app on other services is listing the standard price as $12.99 per month and $25.99 per month for the premium service with a 30-day free trial.

The Guardian gives us more information on Tidal and its new owners. Tidal started back in 2009 as WiMP in Scandanavia. When Aspiro bought WiMP, Aspiro changed the name to Tidal. The service collected over 500,000 subscribers before selling to the group led by Jay-Z.

Jay-Z leads an all-star musical group that includes Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J Cole, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Usher. The concept is that Tidal will be artist-controlled, not controlled by the record labels. No one is sure that labels will be allowed to buy a stake in Tidal like they can Spotify.

The main goal of Tidal is to refocus on compensation to the artists for their art. Right now, there are numerous ways for persons to get music for free and deprive artists of compensation.

“People are not respecting the music, and [are] devaluing it and devaluing what it really means. People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water,” said Jay-Z.

The bottom line is that artists are attempting to retake the control they had for so long fought for, then lost. For years, artists would sign rights away just to get their music out to the public. Once they understood what was what, the artists got their rights, but the digital age made music available to even the most casual of fans. Tidal will try to bring the power back to the artists.

[Image courtesy of Mashable]