Square, a mobile payment company run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has acquired a majority stake in Jay-Z Tidal’s audio and video streaming service in a $ 297 million deal.
Under the terms of the deal, the co-owners of the Tidal superstar, which includes Beyonce, Madonna and Rihanna, will retain their shares and become the second largest shareholders. Jay-Z will join Square̵
This is the second deal in so many weeks for the rapper, after he sold half of his champagne company Armand de Brignac, better known as Ace of Spades, to LVMH, the luxury goods company. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the brand is valued at $ 630 million by Forbes.
“Why should a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces ?!” Dorsey posted on Twitter, asking the obvious question when he announced the news. “It all comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas are at the crossroads and we believe there is a compelling idea between music and economics. “
Square said it took a “significant majority stake” in Tidal, which Jay-Z bought in partnership with other contractors for $ 56 million in 2015. The service, which counts contractors like Coldplay and Daft Punk as owners, has distinguished itself by offering high quality audio and video and paying better royalty rates to performers than competitors like Spotify.
While Tidal has separated its niche, offering over 70 million songs and 250,000 high-quality videos, the global market is dominated by Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Last month, Spotify announced its own high-definition streaming option that will compete with Tidal. In 2017, Jay-Z removed most of its music from Spotify, but restored it in 2019 for its 50th birthday.
Founded in 2009, Square offers small business financial tools that will help artists explore options such as receiving digital payments directly from fans. “There are tools they need to be successful and we will build for them,” said Jesse Dorogusker, CEO of Square, who will run Tidal on a temporary basis.