Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will join the board of directors of publicly-traded Square, a financial services and payments company. Square said it’s taking a “significant ownership stake” in Tidal and that existing artist shareholders will own the rest. Tidal will operate independently within Square.
Square said the acquisition extends its “purpose of economic empowerment” to a new vertical — musicians. Square offers financial tools to help launch and grow small businesses and individuals manage money.
“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” said Dorsey, cofounder and CEO of Square (and of Twitter). “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.”
Carter called six-year-old Tidal more than just a streaming music service but 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,” he said.
Tidal has catalog of more than 70 million songs and 250,000 videos and connects artists and fans with exclusive content and events. It has listeners in more than 56 countries and relationships with over 100 labels and distributors. Jesse Dorogusker, a Square executive, will serve as interim lead of Tidal when the the transaction closes.
Square helps sellers reach buyers online and in person, manage their business and access financing. Individuals use Square’s Cash App to spend, send, store, and invest money. Square has offices in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Spain and the U.K.
Separately, last month, Dorsey and Jay-Z teamed up to launch a new Bitcoin fund, set up as a blind trust to finance development initially in Africa and India.
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