Music

Jack Dorsey’s Square Is Buying Tidal For Hundreds Of Millions And Giving Jay-Z A Seat On Square’s Board

A couple months ago, there were reports that Square, the mobile payments company of which Twitter co-founder/CEO Jack Dorsey is also founder/CEO, was in talks with Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal to buy the platform. It turns out those were more than just rumors, as both Dorsey and Jay have confirmed that the deal is just about finalized.

The New York Times reports that Square will acquire a “significant majority” of Tidal for $297 million in stock and cash. The publication also notes that earlier this week, Jay-Z bought back 33 percent of Tidal from T-Mobile after selling those shares to Sprint (which has since become part of T-Mobile) in 2017. Most of those shares will be sold to Square as part of the new deal.

Dorsey shared a lengthy series of tweets about the deal this morning, which began, “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?! 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.”

Jay-Z also shared a message about the deal on Twitter, writing, “This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer! 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. 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.”

Find Dorsey’s full message below.

“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?! 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.

Square started 12 years ago by giving small sellers a simple tool in order to participate more fully in the economy and grow. We did the same for individuals with Cash App, which now enables a comprehensive set of financial services for folks who weren’t able to access it before. TIDAL started with the idea of honoring artists by being artist-owned and led, focused on an uncompromised experience of the art. It’s refreshing and right. The vision only grows stronger as it’s matched with more powerful tools for artists, inclusive of new ways of getting paid.

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. We’re going to start small and focus on the most critical needs of artists and growing their fanbases. 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.

To all of TIDAL’s current listeners and fans: THANK YOU for your loyalty and commitment to artists and their work. TIDAL will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture. Our commitment to you is to constantly listen, learn, and work to make a service you love.

I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I’m inspired to work with him. He’ll now help lead our entire company, including Seller and the Cash App, as soon as the deal closes.”

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