Square – the digital payments company operated by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – has acquired the TIDAL streaming platform from JAY-Z. Under the deal, JAY-Z will join Square’s board of directors and TIDAL’s artist owners will continue to jointly own the platform as the second largest group of shareholders.
After its well-known takeover of the service by the Norwegian company Aspiro in 2015, JAY-Z brought artists such as Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Win Butler from Arcade Fire and Régine Chassagne, Rihanna, Jack White, Daft Punk and others. Their stake in the company – and their financial losses from the sale – were not disclosed.
Last December, Bloomberg reported on the possibility that Square would buy TIDAL. A press release today confirmed that “Square expects to pay a $ 297 million mix of cash and stock for a significant controlling stake.” According to the press release, TIDAL will operate independently within Square.
According to JAY-Z, TIDAL remains “a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to aid them on their creative journey. Jack and I have had a lot of discussions about the endless possibilities of TIDAL that have inspired me even more for the future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square Board. This partnership will be vital for many. I look forward to all that this new chapter has to offer! “
Dorsey added, “It comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas come at intersections and we believe there is a compelling one between music and business. I knew TIDAL was special as soon as I experienced it and it will continue to be the best home for music, musicians and culture. ”
The Twitter CEO commented on a Twitter thread: “Given Square’s capabilities for sellers of all sizes and individuals through the Cash app, we believe we can now work for artists to achieve the same success for them and us. We’re going to start small and focus on the most critical needs of artists and grow their fan base. “
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