Square, the mobile payments company owned by Jack Dorsey, announced on Thursday its plan to acquire a “significant majority” of Tidal, the streaming music service owned by Hip-hop music mogul, Jay-Z.
Square said it expects to pay $297 million, in a combination of cash and stock, for a stake in Tidal. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will join Square’s board, subject to the closing of the transaction while Tidal will operate independently within Square.
Existing artist shareholders will still remain stakeholders. Other Tidal artist-owners include Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.
In a tweet made by Jay-Z today, he highlighted that “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.”
He also commented that “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.
“This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
Jack Dorsey, who is CEO of both Square and Twitter, also commented on this deal “comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work.”
“New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. I knew Tidal was something special as soon as I experienced it, and it will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture.”
Jesse Dorogusker, a Square executive will lead Tidal on an interim basis. He added that Square will offer financial tools to help Tidal’s artists collect revenue and manage their finances. “There are other tools they need to be successful and that we’re going to build for them,”.
What you should know
- Last month, Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z announced a Bitcoin fund focused on developing the cryptocurrency’s adoption in Africa and India.
- In 2017, Sprint bought a 33% stake in Tidal. This week, Jay-Z bought back those shares from T-Mobile (which acquired Sprint).
- Last month, 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.