Square, an American fintech company co-founded by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, will be acquiring a majority stake in Jay Z's music streaming platform, TIDAL. As part of the acquisition, Jay Z will also join the Board of Directors at Square.
What is interesting and as mentioned by Jack Dorsey when making the announcement, the majority ownership of TIDAL will be housed through a new joint venture which will have the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders.
"Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL through a new joint venture, with the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders, and JAY-Z joining the Square board. Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!" wrote Jack Dorsey in a tweet.
Jay Z and Jack Dorsey partnership
The TIDAL and Square announcement is not the first time that Jay Z and Jack Dorsey have partnered to work on a project. There have been several rumors that Jack Dorsey, through Twitter or Square, is looking to buy TIDAL.
Earlier in 2021, the pair announced that they will together be funding Bitcoin development in Africa and India through an endowment. Known as ₿Trust, the endowment will receive 500 Bitcoins from Dorsey and Jay Z to kickstart its work.
As far as TIDAL is concerned, it sounds like the partnership with Square will go beyond music streaming.
Music artists deserve better tools
As Jay Z mentioned in his tweets announcing the majority stake acquisition in TIDAL by Square: "Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey."
"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. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities 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!" wrote Jay Z in a series of tweets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge shift for music artists towards digital platforms. This is because live events, a significant income stream for most music artists, have been canceled. As such, music artists have had to explore other means of income.
TIDAL, among the major music streaming platforms, remains the one that pays better per stream rates than the likes of Spotify, Youtube Music, Apple Music, to name a few.
Subscribe to our Daily Brief newsletterShare this via:
Insights and analysis into how business and technology impact Africa. We promise to leave you smarter and asking the right questions every time after you read it. Sent out every Monday to Friday.