Square Inc. owned by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey is buying a majority stake in Tidal, a high-fidelity audio and video streaming platform owned by rapper Jay-Z. The deal is said to be worth $97 million in cash and stock.
Real name, Shawn Carter, Jay-Z will join Square’s board as part of the acquisition while Tidal’s current shareholders will maintain their position as co-owners.
Square is a financial company that has created an ecosystem for small businesses and retailers. Its Cash App payment platform is well recognized and has been able to help consumers store and transfer money digitally. Explaining why Square is joining forces with music streaming service Tidal, Jack tweeted: “It comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for sellers.”
“Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes and individuals through Cash App, we believe we can now work for artists to see the same success for them, and us,” tweeted Jack. “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.”
Expanding more on the partnership, Mr. Carter said “TIDAL was about more than just streaming music”, in a tweet. “Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey.”
Founded in Norway in 2014, Jay-Z and other artists bought Tidal in 2015 for $56 million. With co-owners such as Coldplay, Madonna, Rihanna and Daft Punk, Tidal has been able to offer exclusive content and high-fidelity audio. Tidal and Square will continue to operate independently under Square and the acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.