Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL
Square, the mobile payments company led by Jack Dorsey, has announced its plan to acquire a majority of Tidal, the streaming music service owned by Jay-Z and other artists, in a $297 million deal. The original artists will become the second largest group of shareholders with JAY-Z joining the Square board.
I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey.— Mr. Carter (@sc) March 4, 2021
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Jay-Z announced that he would sell 50 percent of his champagne company, Armand de Brignac — better known as Ace of Spades — to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton amid a downturn in the entertainment industry caused by the pandemic that has affected some of Jay-Z’s holdings.
Last month, Mr. Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of Twitter, announced that he and Jay-Z had endowed a Bitcoin trust to support development in India and Africa.
Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board.— Mr. Carter (@sc) March 4, 2021
I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I’m inspired to work with him. He'll now help lead our entire company, including Seller and the Cash App, as soon as the deal closes. https://t.co/YRfYjcWJQx pic.twitter.com/xBtq2xfwue— jack (@jack) March 4, 2021
Tidal, which Jay-Z bought in partnership with other artists in 2015 for $56 million, provides members access to music, music videos and exclusive content from artists, but the streaming music industry has been dominated by competitors like Spotify, Apple and Amazon.
In 2017, Jay-Z sold 33 percent of the company to Sprint for an undisclosed amount. (After a merger, Sprint is now a part of T-Mobile.) Earlier this week, Jay-Z bought back the shares from T-Mobile, and most will be sold to Square as part of the deal.
Sources speculate that Square, which was founded in 2009, will offer financial tools to help Tidal’s artists collect revenue and manage their finances.
Dorsey tweeted: Square created ecosystems of tools for sellers & individuals, and we’ll do the same for artists. We’ll work on entirely new listening experiences to bring fans closer together, simple integrations for merch sales, modern collaboration tools, and new complementary revenue streams.