Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and founder of financial services company Square, Inc. is acquiring a majority stake in Tidal, the high-fidelity audio and video streaming service led by Jay-Z. Square is paying $297 million in cash and stock for a “significant majority ownership stake” and says Tidal will operate independently alongside Square’s other ventures.
“Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!” Jack Dorsey’s answer: to find “new ways for artists to support their work.” Just as Square gave sellers new tools to make money, Dorsey says the company’s stake in Tidal will help artists find similar support in the new digital ecosystem.
“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.”
As part of the deal, Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors. In a press statement, Jay-Z said “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. Jack and I have had many discussions about Tidal’s endless possibilities that have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board. This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
Speaking to Billboard, Square’s hardware lead Jesse Dorogusker, who will serve as interim head of Tidal, said the company would build out new tools for artists while continuing to offer its streaming service to consumers. “We think the streaming service is an important part of it, and it is growing and will continue to grow.”