Sprint announced on Monday that it has entered into a partnership with Tidal, which would give its 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content.
The partnership deal also provides for Sprint acquiring a 33 percent stake in Tidal, with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure joining Tidal's board. "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. "Marcelo understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint's 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience."
Apple's Interest In Tidal
The announcement should come as a dampener for Apple, which was reportedly eyeing Tidal in a bid to compete against Sweden's Spotify. Apple Music's paid subscriber count stood at 20 million at the end of 2016, less than half that of Spotify.
When the Wall Street Journal reported of Apple's interest in Tidal in July 2016, Macquarie analyst Amy Yong had said it would motivate a strategic buyer to look at Pandora Media as a potential target.
In September last year, Kanye West, who was introduced as one of the apparent equity partners at Tidal's launch in October 2014, sent a series of tweets that amounted to prodding Apple to come to the negotiation table for a likely Tidal takeover. West tweeted, "Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop trying to act like you Steve," suggesting efforts from both parties have not produced the desired effect.
Apple Turns Sights Toward Pandora?
With a Tidal takeover now a pipe dream, Apple may now be forced to look at Pandora Media, which according to estimates, has 4.3 million paid subscribers. Pandora is a music streaming and automated music recommendation service. The company is also working on plans to launch Pandora Premium, its on-demand streaming, with a subscription pricing of $9.99 per month and all the features that rivals Spotify and Apple Music offer.
When contacted by Benzinga in the wake of the Sprint-Tidal deal, Yong said wireless carriers are looking for a way to differentiate their network and one way is to get into content, including music and video. On the possibility of multiple parties other than Apple being interested in a Pandora Media buy and Monday's announcement from Sprint intensifying the interest, Yong said, "I think the most logical buyer for Pandora right now is Sirius XM Holdings Inc. SIRI, but clearly companies outside of music are looking to get into music. So, it's not just a horizontal M&A scenario that you're looking at."
Macquarie and its affiliates collectively and beneficially own or control 1 percent or more of any class of Pandora Media Inc's equity securities.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.
All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.
Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.