JAY-Z sells TIDAL to Twitter CEO for $297 million

JAY-Z has sold his streaming platform TIDAL to financial services firm Square, which is owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Square announced the deal in a statement earlier today (March 4), in which it confirmed that it would acquire a majority ownership stake in TIDAL. The company will pay a mix of cash and stock of $297 million to complete the transaction.

According to Square, existing artist shareholders will remain as stakeholders, with TIDAL operating independently. JAY-Z will join Square’s board of directors as part of the deal.

Commenting on the decision to acquire TIDAL, Dorsey explained: “It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. 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,” added JAY-Z. “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.”

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The acquisition will likely see Square look to make up ground on TIDAL’s main streaming competitors Spotify and Apple Music. TIDAL launched as the streaming service ‘run by artists for artists’, offering higher quality audio across its catalogue of 70 million songs. 

“TIDAL sets a high standard for supporting artists, capturing music culture, and delivering the best audio quality to fans,” added 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.” 

Based on current information, Square does not expect TIDAL’s financial results to have a material impact on Square’s consolidated revenue or gross profit in 2021. The completion of this transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. 

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.