Payments company Square is buying a majority stake in Tidal, the music streaming service backed and owned by performing artists such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna, among others.
According to a press statement, Square will pay $297 million in cash and stock to secure the majority stake and "existing artist shareholders will be the remaining stakeholders." Tidal will continue to operate independently, and Jay-Z will be named to Square's board of directors.
In a tweet thread, Square CEO Jack Dorsey wrote that "[i]t comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for sellers."
He went on to say:
"Square created ecosystems of tools for sellers & individuals, and we’ll do the same for artists. We’ll work on entirely new listening experiences to bring fans closer together, simple integrations for merch sales, modern collaboration tools, and new complementary revenue streams."
The move comes weeks after Dorsey and Jay-Z co-funded a bitcoin development endowment backed by 500 BTC. The development fund has an initial focus of providing resources to teams in Africa and India, as reported at the time.