Square, the mobile payments company co-founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is acquiring a majority stake in Jay-Z’s Tidal.
According to a press release, Square has entered into a definitive agreement in which the company will pay a mix of cash and stock of $297 million for a significant majority ownership stake. Existing artist shareholders, notably, will be the remaining stakeholders. The Tidal company will operate independently within the Square framework alongside Seller and Cash App, the latter of which has been the go-to platform for artists aiming to give money away to fans.
As part of the deal, Tidal board member and shareholder Jay-Z will join Square’s Board of Directors. The transaction itself, meanwhile, is slated to be closed in the second quarter of 2021.
In a statement, which was also shared via a series of tweets early Thursday morning, Jay-Z said the deal marked the latest example of Tidal being “more than” a streaming service.
“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,” he said. “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!”
Dorsey, meanwhile, said the deal will give artists “new ways” of supporting their work.
“New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy,” he said on Thursday. “I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and it will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture.”
Jay commemorated the occasion with a “March 4” playlist on Tidal including suitably motivational tracks like “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Started From the Bottom,” David Bowie’s “Fame,” Solange’s “F.U.B.U.,” the Meek Mill/Hov/Rick Ross collab “What’s Free,” and the Nipsey Hussle cuts “Victory Lap” and “Grinding All My Life.” Listen on Tidal or below.
Last month, LVMH’s Moët Hennessy announced a partnership with Jay-Z through the 50 percent acquisition of his Armand de Brignac champagne brand. And at the top of this month, Jay’z cannabis brand Monogram launched a national drug policy awareness campaign.