Jay-Z has orchestrated a deal for Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments company Square to shell out $297 million for a majority stake in the hip-hop mogul’s Tidal music streaming service.
Dorsey is the co-founder of Twitter and Tidal is the streaming music service owned by Jay-Z and other artists including Beyoncé and Rihanna.
Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors, The New York Times reported.
The Tidal-Square deal follows another one for Jay-Z, who recently agreed to sell half of his champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, (most people call it Ace of Spades) to LVMH. LVMH owns Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon.
Jay-Z acquired Tidal in 2015 for $56 million and subscribers were offered early or exclusive access to music and products. The focus of Tidal was to give artists, as co-owners of Tidal, greater control of their work and more power over the music business. In 2017, Jay-Z sold 33 percent of Tidal to Sprint, but earlier this week, Jay-Z bought back the shares, and most will be sold to Square as part of the deal.
On Twitter, some people wondered why Dorsey would be attracted to Tidal, a small player in the streaming music space. “Tidal subscriber base is paltry. just around 5m users compared to Spotify 100s of millions paying users”, one person tweeted.
Dorsey seemed to anticipate such questions. “Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!” Dorsey wrote in a tweet announcing the news. “It comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.”
Some commented on Jay-Z’s dealmaking of late.
“Hovs cashing out these days somethings coming can’t think of it now but it’s coming I can feel it,” said one user.
Another agreed, “Jay making money moves. Something big is about to happen.”
This isn’t the first time Jay-Z and Dorsey have teamed up. Last month, the two announced that he and Jay-Z had formed a Bitcoin investment fund to support the development of the cryptocurrency in India and Africa.
It is expected that Square will use Tidal to extend its financial services to musicians, enabling them to receive direct payments from fans, NBC News reported.
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