The “artist-owned” DSP has been acquired by Jack Dorsey’s Square, a financial services company catering to small businesses.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sale clocks in at a staggering $297 million. The deal offers Hov a seat on Square’s board while ensuring he and all of TIDAL’s artist investors (including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Jack White, Madonna, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and many others,) retain their respective shares in the streamer.
“Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future,” the rapper wrote in a statement on (where else but) Twitter. “This partnership will be a game-changer for many,” Hov added. And his enthusiasm appears to be echoed by Dorsey. “I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I’m inspired to work with him,” Dorsey wrote in his own statement this morning.
As far as user-facing functionality is concerned, TIDAL likely won’t be changing all that much. But for artists, the new deal promises to extend Square and Cash App’s financial tools to musicians. “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,” says Dorsey.
TIDAL was launched in 2015 as an artist-owned and led platform, offering users high-fidelity streaming, while maintaining the largest royalty payout for artists amongst DSPs. It’s unclear when the deal will be finalized, but a new TIDAL chief has already been named. Jesse Dorogusker, current hardware lead at Square, will step in as an interim head of the company. Speaking with THR, Dorogusker explained how the acquisition is a fairly logical partnership. “[Artists starting out in the music industry] don’t have all the access they need, they get paid slowly, they don’t see all the data. It’s really down the middle of things that Square has done uniquely well.”