Mobile payment company Square, Inc. is acquiring a majority ownership stake in JAY-Z’s music streaming service TIDAL. Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, who also founded Square, announced the deal in a tweet on Thursday.
Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL through a new joint venture, with the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders, and JAY-Z joining the Square board. Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!
— jack (@jack) March 4, 2021
“Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!” Dorsey wrote. “It comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for sellers.”
JAY-Z tweeted for the first time since 2018, calling the collaboration a “game-changer for many.”
“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,” he continued. “Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. 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.”
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
Square says it expects to pay a mix of cash and stock of $297 million USD for the majority ownership stake in the streaming service, which will operate independently alongside other Square services like Cash App and Seller. The company says it aims to extend economic empowerment to musicians. Furthermore, JAY-Z will join Square’s board of directors.
JAY-Z bought TIDAL in 2015 for $56 million USD, which boasts certain content from top-tier artists exclusive to the site. The global music service offers a catalog of over 70 million songs and 250,000 videos and is co-owned by several artists including Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Kanye West and Rihanna.
The rap mogul has also been busy making deals with other industry leaders. In February, LVMH acquired 50 percent of JAY-Z’s Armand de Brignac champagne brand in a deal valued at roughly $630 million USD by Forbes.