Jay-Z sells majority stake of TIDAL to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for $302m
04.05.2021

Jay-Z sells majority stake of TIDAL to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for $302m

Words by Will Brewster

The Brooklyn hip-hop mogul acquired the service back in 2015.

UPDATED May 4 2021: As of today, Jay-Z has finalised the sale of his majority stake in TIDAL (80%) to Jack Dorsey for  $302m, as confirmed by representatives from Square in a statement to Complex.

Six years after purchasing the platform from Norwegian firm Aspiro, Jay-Z has sold a majority stake of his hi-fi streaming service TIDAL to Square, the digital payment company run by Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, for a reported $297 million.

Summary

  • Jay-Z has sold his majority share of TIDAL to Square, Inc. for the sum of $297 million, to be paid in stock and cash.
  • The deal will see Jay-Z join Square’s board of directors and continue to oversee the developments of the audio streaming service.
  • TIDAL’s artist co-owners, which include Kanye West, Daft punk, Jack White, Rihanna and Lil Wayne, will retain their stake in the company.

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TIDAL, which was officially launched by Jay-Z and a star-studded array of co-owners in 2015 as a hi-fi alternative to other streaming services, has since become known as one of the most ethical streaming platforms available to consumers.

Despite hosting high profile exclusive releases such as Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo and Rihanna’s ANTI, the expansive amount of hi-fi audio content available on the service and its  stance towards paying artists fairly, TIDAL’s numbers have lagged behind competitors such as Spotify and Apple Music for a number of years, with some in the industry questioning the longevity of the platform.

News of the sale comes after months of media speculation as to whether or not Jay-Z would sell the streaming service, with a Bloomberg report from December hinting at Square’s interest in acquiring TIDAL.

A press statement confirming the news has also claimed that as part of the deal, Jay-Z will move to Square’s board of directors to help oversee the company, and that TIDAL is expected to operate independently within Square.

The press statement also reveals that Jay-Z is expected to be paid in a mixture of cash and stock of US $297 million – just shy of AUD $385 million – for the sale of his majority stake. Considering that Jay-Z initially bought the service back in 2015 for a meagre US $50 million, it’s fair to say that this one’s another massive win for Hov.

In addition to Jay-Z moving to Square’s board of directors, the terms of the sale have also enabled TIDAL’s artist owners – including Kanye West, Daft Punk, Rihanna, Madonna, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, Jack White and others – to retain their co-ownership of the platform, however, the extent of their stakes in the service are yet to be disclosed.

In light of the sale, Jay-Z maintained to subscribers that TIDAL would continue to be ‘a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers’ in a statement.

‘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!’

 

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