Jay-Z sells his majority stake in TIDAL to Square (owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey)
Jay-Z has sold a controlling stake in his streaming service TIDAL to Square, the financial services company owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. As part of the deal, Jay-Z will move to TIDAL's board of directors, and the other artists who are co-owners will remain so as the second largest group of shareholders. According to a press release, "Square expects to pay a mix of cash and stock of $297 million for a significant majority ownership stake.” That puts TIDAL, Twitter and Square all under one umbrella.
In a statement on Twitter, Dorsey wrote, "Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!” His reply to his own question: "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. 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.
In the press release Jay-Z said that TIDAL will remain “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!”
"I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership," Dorsey concluded. "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."
Tidal was founded in Norway in 2014 but was bought the following year by a consortium of artists, led by Jay-Z but also including Kanye West, Jack White, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Madonna, and others.