Mobile payments company Square has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Tidal, the streaming platform owned by Jay-Z, for $297m.
Square will pay for Tidal in a mix of cash and stock and said it would name Jay-Z to its board of directors. The deal will allow the financial services company to expand its portfolio into music streaming as competition among platforms such as Spotify and Apple has grown.
Tidal describes itself as a music service “built by artists, for artists.” A group of musicians led by Jay-Z bought the company in 2015 for $56m.
“It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work,” said Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive of Square. “New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.”
Square’s share price has risen by nearly 500 per cent since the lows of last March, making it one of the biggest corporate winners of the pandemic. Its meteoric share rise was driven by businesses being forced to set up ecommerce operations during worldwide lockdowns, and more customers paying digitally rather than in cash over the past year.