What you need to know
- Square is acquiring a majority stake in Jay-Z's Tidal music streaming service.
- Square expects to pay around $297 million for the Tidal stake.
- Jay-Z will be joining Square's board of directors after the transaction is closed.
Mobile payments company Square has announced that it is acquiring a majority stake in music streaming service Tidal, which is led by rapper Jay-Z. The company says the deal will allow it to provide artists with "more powerful financial tools, inclusive of new ways of getting paid."
Square will be paying $297 million in a mix of cash and stock to acquire the significant majority stake in Tidal. While Jay-Z will be joining Square's board of directors, the original artists will become the second-largest group of shareholders in the music streaming service. Some of the co-owners of the service include Kanye West, Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Beyoncé, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, and Daft Punk.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement:
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.
Jay-Z had acquired Tidal from its Swedish parent company Aspiro in 2015 for $56 million. While it isn't quite as popular as some of the best music streaming services out there, Tidal has a vast catalog of over 70 million songs and 250,000 videos — including original podcasts and live performances.
The Tidal acquisition isn't likely to bring in additional revenue for Square. The company says it doesn't expect the deal to have any significant on its sales or profit in the near future.