According to Jack Dorsey on a Twitter thread, this joining of forces between a music streaming company and one that provides financial payments would find “new ways for artists to support their work.”
Square paid $297 million in cash and stock for a “significant majority ownership stake.” Tidal will, however, continue to operate independently along with other Square companies, and its owner, American rapper and entrepreneur, Jay-Z, will join the board of directors.
Was this expected? Kind of.
Tidal is an online subscription service for music, podcasts, and video streaming, founded in 2014. In 2015, it was acquired by rapper Jay-Z for $56 million and was hailed as a strong competitor to the likes of SoundCloud and Spotify.
It was only a few years later, in 2020, that rumors about a possible deal started to appear. Bloomberg reported that Jack Dorsey was discussing the purchase of a music services linked to Jay-Z. Now, we know that it wasn’t just talk and gossip.
Tidal certainly received its fair share of hype and spotlight as its roaring celebrity-endorsement marketing campaign captured all the headlines. During its initial stages of promotion, however, it was in many cases deemed as not living up to expectations by both users and critics alike. In 2016, it had 3 million paying subscribers and was supported by the likes of Beyonce and Madonna.
Both share the same enthusiasm about the deal, according to public statements.