Financial services company, Square, Inc. has announced that the company has entered an agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in TIDAL.
The acquisition is set to cost the company a mix of cash and stock of $297 million. Existing artist shareholders will be the remaining stakeholders. TIDAL will operate independently within Square, alongside the Seller and Cash App ecosystems. Additionally, TIDAL board member and shareholder Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) is set to join Square’s Board of Directors.
Representatives for both TIDAL and Square suggest that the move is motivated by a desire to empower musicians financially.
Jack Dorsey is the co-founder and CEO of Square. He said “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.”
TIDAL shareholder Shawn Carter appears to have the same view. “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. 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!”
TIDAL is currently the only streaming platform built by artists, for artists. From the start, the company has positioned itself as the platform that pays artists most fairly. This branding does have truth to it. A 2020 study found that TIDAL paid artists more per stream than Apple, Spotify or Amazon Music.
It remains to be seen how exactly the merger will pan out. But it appears that artists that put their music on the platform have little cause for concern.