Square Inc – the financial services company founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – has bought a majority share in Jay-Z’s TiDAL for $297m. TiDAL was founded in Norway in 2014 before being acquired by Jay-Z and other artists including Beyoncé and Rihanna in 2015. Those artists are now the “second-largest group of shareholders”, Dorsey explained in a series of tweets. “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,” Dorsey tweeted.
“TIDAL started with the idea of honouring 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.” You can read the full Twitter feed here.
Dorsey’s comments echo the recent focus on artists’ rights, independence and incorporating new ways for artists to connect with fans and generate revenue. Square’s own fintech background implies systems that have been brought to the forefront by recent high-value NFT auctions could be brought to music and artist tools sooner rather than later. The new interim head of TIDAL, Jesse Dorogusker, said streaming will continue to be part of the service, alongside new tools for artists.
Jay-Z joins Square’s board as part of the deal. Of the acquisition, 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!”