Square to Buy Majority Stake in Jay-Z's Tidal Platform -- Update
By Colin Kellaher
Square Inc. is buying a majority stake in Tidal, a music and
entertainment platform owned by rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and
other artists, for $297 million in cash and stock.
The San Francisco payments company said Thursday that Mr. Carter
will join its board as part of the deal, and Tidal's current
shareholders will remain co-owners.
Square -- best known for its signature white card reader -- has
created a financial ecosystem for retailers, small-business owners
and shoppers. It offers loans through its seller platform, and its
Cash App payment service allows consumers to digitally store and
transfer their money like they would at a bank.
It is looking to do much the same thing for musicians on the
Tidal platform by, for example, integrating merchandise sales and
hosting collaboration tools, Square Chief Executive Jack Dorsey
said in a tweet Thursday morning.
"New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe
there's a compelling one between music and the economy," Mr. Dorsey
tweeted. "Making the economy work for artists is similar to what
Square has done for sellers."
Tidal was always about more than streaming music, Mr. Carter
said in a statement. "Artists deserve better tools to assist them
in their creative journey," he said.
Square already has ties with the music business. The company has
recruited hip-hop artists, one of Cash App's most devoted fan
bases, to help bring aboard new users during the pandemic. To
promote Cash App and their single, "WAP," rappers Cardi B and Megan
Thee Stallion gave away $1 million to fans who messaged them on
Twitter with their Cash App usernames, called "cashtags."
Square said Tidal will operate independently within Square,
alongside its seller and Cash App platforms. It expects to complete
the transaction in the second quarter.
Colin Kellaher contributed to this article.
Write to Colin Kellaher at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 04, 2021 11:07 ET (16:07 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.