Global music and entertainment platform TIDAL and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today an unprecedented partnership that will soon give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.
Uh, okay. Sure, they have some exclusives, but nobody cares that much.
This said, I’ve been predicting for a while that we’d see more telecom companies either buying streaming services, or working with them to bundle those services with phone contracts. One hurdle to successful streaming music is the cost of data, and presumably Sprint will either make Tidal data free, or charge much less for it.
However, Sprint, being almost entirely US-only (they have some presence in Latin America), won’t be able to offer Tidal streaming to users around the world. Perhaps they’ll make deals with other carriers, but this puts Tidal in a silo. Granted, if Sprint gets enough of its 45 million customers to opt in, that’ll be good for Sprint. Their goal is, obviously, to use Tidal – either free or at a discount – as a carrot toward locking customers into a phone contract. Because if you’re committed to a music streaming service, you’re less likely to switch to another carrier. (Or so they hope.)