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5 Lessons From Jay-Z’s $200 Million Deal With Sprint


About a year ago, most of the blogs and media sites were stating how Jay-Z’s purchase of Tidal was a terrible deal and would never work because of services like Apple Music and Spotify. Fast forward to this week and Jay-Z just inked a deal with Sprint for a 33% stake in Tidal for $200 million. That puts the value of the company at $600 million. Not bad for a $56 million investment.

There is a lot to be learned from the actions of the last year as it relates to Tidal. More than just a financial success for Jay-Z, this deal represents what is possible when you follow your vision in the face of adversity. While everyone was saying it would not work, Tidal just kept plowing ahead. Here are a few other lessons to learn from the deal.

  1. Don’t Believe the Naysayers – Although difficult, drowning out the opinions of what others think you are capable is essential for success. Everyone has an opinion. Many are not based on facts, but are often shared as if they are facts. If Jay-Z would have listed to all the “experts” that said turning Tidal into a success would be impossible, he would have missed out on a major payday. By continuing to move forward with the vision that he had, he was able to achieve success against the negative opinions of others.
  2. Influencer Marketing Works – Influencer marketing is when people with large audiences a certain level of influence are used to promote a product or service. Some examples would celebrity tweets which are used to promote products to their large social media followings. Jay-Z purchased Tidal, but did not go at it alone. He brought on major star power to help him Tidal into a success. He enlisted Alicia Keys, Kanye West, J. Cole, Usher, Daft Punk, Madonna and many more were all gifted 3% of equity within the company. This incentivized the artists to make a Tidal a success by spreading the word, but also limiting the number of songs that are on other platforms and are exclusive to Tidal.
  3. Stay The Course – If it was easy everyone would happily do it. The ability to continue on your path when adversity strikes will be a key factor in your success. In business and in life, challenges will come up. Not losing site of your purpose and your goals will help you through the tough times and the success achieved will be even greater. Stay The Course!
  4. Be Creative – Realizing that he was behind, Jay-Z used many of the resources available to him to turn into a success. In addition to the influencer marketing that was mentioned above, Jay-Z also held several concerts to promote the new service offering. In your own business, it is worthwhile to take a step back and analyze if there are more create ways to accomplish your goals.
  5. There Is Room for Competition – The main reasoning that was given of why Jay-Z’s Tidal music service would not success is because larger services like Apple Music and Spotify already had large parts of the industry and it would be too expensive for others to compete. What Jay-Z understood was that while those companies are large, there is still room to compete with them. He knew his service did not need all of the people in the world as customers only decent number to improve the balance sheet. Today, Tidal has 1.5 million subscribers and a monthly price of $19.99. Although $30 million pales in comparison to Apple Music and Spotify, it is a nice payday for Jay-Z. Just because there may already be larger companies performing the service or selling the product that you offer does not mean you cannot achieve success. Compete with them and beat them.

Do you have any additional thoughts on the significance of the Jay-Z deal?

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  • One more lesson to add is that Jay-Z was so successful (in spite of the naysayers) because he stuck to his strong suit. He is first of all an artist and secondly, a businessman.

    He knows the industry of music in itself and with that experience he could blot out the opinions and hate mail of others because he KNEW (even if he knew all alone) what HE was doing!

    In order to be confident in what you do, you have to FIRST be competent! And most times if you stick to your strengths, you’ll come out on top!

  • David Price says:

    Jay z is a great business man from the very beginning. He knows his business as a artist from the bottom to the top. This gives me inspiration for I am a black business man with a startup company. I am soon to be 64 years old grandfather with grandchildren. In a very competitive fashion jewelry business. Like Jay z I believe in myself and hard work. I started my business to help with my social security check my only income now.This article inspired me to move forward.

  • Benjamin B says:

    Great article; good lessons. Also, in lesson 3, ‘site’ is used rather than ‘sight’ … “Not losing site of your purpose …” Just a reminder to stay on top of things.

  • i like jay z lmaaoo !! . well not fr im just doing a project !

  • Gracias por el tuto estaba como loco dando vueltas a porque no me iba la instalacion en local de wordpress con MAMP y ya por fin lo consegui

  • Danny Payton says:

    We need more people like Jay-Z that expand and compete against businesses that are siphoning money out of our community simply because we sometimes have a herd mentality.

    After achieving a B.A. Degree at Notre Dame University and working my way up to Department Manager in one the country’s largest Search Engine Optimization companies, I realized that I could help my people alot more by creating my own consulting firm and offering my business management, outsourcing and marketing expertise to minority business owners.

    I made my former companies literally millions of dollars helping small business owners gain market share and save money.

    Now its time to help MY folks gain the upper hand! Lets show em the way, Jay!

  • KaSondra Stephens says:

    This is a great article and it has some very helpful advice. Unfortunately, it has so many grammatical errors that it makes it challenging to read. This is not a dig but it is an opportunity.

    We already have to work harder than most to be taken seriously and to build our reputation so articles that are poorly edited or lack proper editing do not help further our cause. Additionally, simple mistakes, like missing words or incomplete thoughts do not help build this site as a credible media outlet.

    I am not sure how the editing process works for this site but it needs to be evaluated and re-worked.

  • Guy Dawson says:

    I really admire the focus and creativity that Jay Z has as a businessman. It takes focus to shut out the negative feedback that you get when you are doing something that is revolutionary. He used creativity to leverage his venture with star power and gave them all a piece of the pie. Outstanding business lessons.

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