Square, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s financial services firm, has bought a majority stake in Tidal. That is the streaming service of rapper Jay-Z.
The deal is worth $ 297 million, in addition to a range of shares. Tidal will continue to operate independently. As part of the deal, Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors.
The latter is Jack Dorsey’s financial services company, best known as the founder and boss of Twitter. The focus of the services, including Cash App, is on online sales. For example, the company offers tools for restaurants to sell online or to facilitate online payments. According to Dorsey, Square must ensure that Tidal artists find new ways to make money in the digital ecosystem.
Tidal is the audio and video streaming platform led by Jay-Z. It was started in 2014 and later acquired by a string of significant artists, headed by Jay-Z. He positioned the platform as an alternative to Spotify, focusing on the hi-fi, higher quality sound, and better conditions for the artists.
The owners include big names such as Coldplay, Rihanna, Daft Punk and Madonna. Supporting artists such as Beyoncé often put new music exclusively on Tidal first, before it can be heard on other platforms.
Despite those big names, Tidal has never really become a significant competitor for other services like Spotify. In 2017, it would serve three million paying customers, up from 20 million for Spotify in the same year.
With Square’s investments, Tidal will now hopefully be able to sort out overdue payments to artists, something the service struggled with for a long time.