The rumors that Square is buying Tidal proven true. Square a purchased controlling stake in Tidal for the equivalent of $ 297 million in cash and shares. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square (and Twitter, for that matter), Explain the deal as an attempt to find “new ways” for artists to get paid – he believes Square’s success with sellers and the Cash application can translate into the music industry.
Jay Z (who is already collaborate with Dorsey on a Bitcoin fund) is still involved and will join Square’s board of directors with influence on other products. The purchase also removes third party investors. Only the artists themselves own the remaining stakes in Tidal, Square said. Tidal will operate independently if the deal goes through as planned in the second quarter of 2021.
Dorsey wasn’t too specific about her plans for Tidal when describing the move. He stress that Square would “start small” with the needs most important to artists, and envision “new listening experiences” that would help fans connect, simplify product sales, and enable collaboration.
How the combination works is unclear. Square’s sales and payment businesses are booming, and that could give Tidal an edge when competing music services like Spotify only have dipped their toes in the merch and to have buttoned heads with industry on royalties. Musicians might be drawn to Tidal if they think they will benefit more from his ties.
That said, Tidal may not have the user base to drive the changes Square wants. The service has not recently indicated how many subscribers it has, and it is believed to lag behind the tens of millions of subscribers to Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Square may need to increase Tidal’s audience or find ways to help performers no matter where people are listening.
TIDAL started with the idea of honoring artists by being owned and directed by artists, focused on an uncompromising experience of art. It’s refreshing and fair. The vision only gets stronger when paired with more powerful tools for artists, including new ways to get paid.
– jack (@jack) March 4, 2021