Square Buys Tidal, Names Jay-Z to Board of Directors - Rolling Stone
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Square Buys Tidal, Names Jay-Z to Board of Directors

“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” Square’s Jack Dorsey says of acquisition

Square Buys Jay-Z's Tidal, Jack Dorsey

Greg Allen/Invision/AP Images; Francois Mori/AP Images

Tidal announced Thursday that a majority ownership share in the streaming service had been purchased by the financial service company Square, owned by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

Square will pay $297 million in cash and stock for the “significant” majority ownership stake in Tidal, after which time Jay-Z, as a Tidal board member, will be added to Square’s Board of Directors, which also includes the company’s Seller and Cash App.

“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Square, said in a statement. “New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. 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.”

“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,” Jay-Z 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!”

All of the artists named as shareholders in Tidal during the streaming service’s all-star launch ceremony in 2015 will remain shareholders under Square’s majority ownership.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey further explained the unlikely union between the high-quality streaming service and his financial services offshoot. “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,” Dorsey tweeted.

“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,” he added.

Additionally, to mark the purchase, Jay-Z curated a new playlist — “March 4th” — that celebrated “artists and the entrepreneurial spirit.”

 

In This Article: Jack Dorsey, Jay-Z, Tidal

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