Jay-Z continues to make business moves on a big scale.
Square, Inc. has announced today that it has acquired a majority ownership stake in his streaming company TIDAL.
Square will pay a mix of cash and stock of $297 million for a significant majority ownership stake, and existing artist shareholders will be the remaining stakeholders, according to the press release. TIDAL will operate independently within Square, alongside the Seller and Cash App ecosystems.
Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors, and Square’s hardware lead Jesse Dorogusker will serve as the interim head of Tidal upon the closing of the deal. Square says it sees the deal as an opportunity to leverage those learnings to help musicians find new ways to support their work and make better decisions through TIDAL.
“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” said Jack Dorsey, cofounder and CEO of Square. “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.”
This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!
— Mr. Carter (@sc) March 4, 2021
“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,” said Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter. “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!”
“TIDAL sets a high standard for supporting artists, capturing music culture, and delivering the best audio quality to fans,” said Jesse Dorogusker, a Square executive who will serve as interim lead of TIDAL upon the closing of the transaction. “Square has also set a high standard for building elegant, accessible, and fair tools for sellers and individuals to economically empower them. Together, TIDAL and Square will be music-obsessed and artist-focused while we explore new artist tools, listener experiences, and access to financial systems that help artists be successful.”
Jay-Z had relaunched the streaming service six years ago after buying TIDAL’s Swedish parent company Aspiro for $56 million in 2015. Later, telecom giant Sprint invested $200 million into TIDAL for a 33% stake, valuing the company, according to experts, at $600 million.
The rap mogul sold a 50% stake in his champagne brand to LVMH last week but the amount was not disclosed. According to Forbes, the deal valued Hov’s champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, at over $600 million.