Square To Acquire Jay-Z’s Music Service Tidal In $297 Million Deal

Mobile payments company Square announced Thursday that it has finalized a deal to purchase a majority stake of Tidal, the music streaming service run by billionaire rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 25: Jay-Z attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to … [+] Industry Icons Honoring Sean “Diddy” Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Key Facts

Square said it will pay $297 million in stock and cash for a “significant” majority stake in Tidal, which will continue to operate independently within Square, according to the announcement. 

Jay-Z and other existing artist shareholders will retain some ownership of the company and Jay-Z is expected to join Square’s board, subject to the closing of the transaction. 

The payment processing company, which is run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, said the deal will help extend Square’s “purpose of economic empowerment,” supporting artists with “financial freedom.” 

Jay-Z acquired Tidal in 2015 for $56 million with the vision of creating the first artist-owned streaming service, but the company has struggled to keep up with competitors like Spotify, Apple and Amazon. 

Crucial Quote 

“Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes … we believe we can now work for artists to see the same success for them, and us,” Dorsey said in a statement Thursday morning. “New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.” 

Key Background 

This announcement comes less than two weeks after Jay-Z made public a partnership between his champagne company, Armand de Brignac (known by its nickname Ace of Spades), and the wine and spirits division of LVMH. Forbes values the deal, in which the Roc Nation founder agreed to sell 50% of his champagne business to LVMH’s Moet Hennessy, at roughly $630 million. 

Big Number 

$1 billion. That’s Jay-Z’s estimated net worth.