Having taken a 33% stake in Tidal early in 2017, US telco Sprint has launched the latest element of its partnership with the streaming service. It’s a bundle called Unlimited Plus, which will be available to customers from 13 July.
“A feature-rich plan that includes unlimited data, talk and text with more mobile hotspot data, Tidal Premium music streaming and the TV you love, with Hulu, HD streaming and additional global roaming options,” as the telco described it.
Customers can pay $22 per month per line for five lines, or $42 per month per line for five lines if they want to get a device as part of the plan. Sprint reportedly paid $200m for its Tidal stake in January 2017, valuing the streaming service at $600m – more than 10 times the $56m that Jay-Z paid for the service’s founding parent-company Aspiro in early 2015.
In June 2017, Sprint offered its new and existing customers a six-month free trial of Tidal’s HiFi tier, shortly before Jay-Z made his 4:44 album available exclusively (for a short time) to Sprint and Tidal customers.
Since then, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv has published a series of stories casting doubt on Tidal’s business: from claiming in December 2017 that the Sprint investment gave Tidal a mere ’12-18 months of runway’ to continue operating, to a report in May this year focusing on stream counts of albums by Kanye West and Beyoncé.