Sprint now owns a big chunk of Tidal. Here’s what that means for you

Sprint has acquired 33% ownership of Tidal, the Hi-Fi music streaming service backed by high-profile artists, like Jay-Z, Jack White and many more.

The partnership grants Sprint customers, both existing and new, exclusive content that can’t be had elsewhere. Neither company has said what the “exclusive content” will actually entail, but considering that Tidal is in the business of music streaming as well as giving its subscribers access to live concerts, Sprint users could be treated to a range of goodies.

There’s just one problem: you’ll need to pay for a Tidal account to enjoy the freebies. Sprint isn’t providing free, or even discounted access as part of its acquisition. This means that you’ll need to spend at least $10 on the low-tier option, which doesn’t offer high fidelity audio files. 

What we now have here are exclusives within exclusives.

If you really want to pipe the exclusives in glistening lossless quality, it’ll cost $20 plus the price of your Sprint contract – all this just to get early access to content that will likely be available to all Tidal subscribers within weeks or a few months.

So, does this offer make it worth cancelling your ties to T-Mobile and Apple Music in one fell swoop? Not even close. If Sprint had found a way to loop in free Tidal accounts to subscribers, that’d be something. But alas, what we now have here are exclusives within exclusives.  

Sprint and Tidal could (and hopefully will) work together to add value to their partnership. But right now, unless you have both a Sprint contract and a Tidal subscription, there’s little reason to be excited.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.