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Square has acquired music streaming service Tidal in a huge $297 million deal

Jay-Z will take a place on the board, as well.

tidal music streaming
Image: Tidal

Last summer, Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey went yachting in the Hamptons. At that time, everyone assumed that they were just two super-rich buddies mingling with the other rich folks in the area.

However, it turns out they were doing more than just socializing during their time together. It seems that’s when Dorsey proposed buying a “significant majority” of Tidal.

Tidal is a music streaming service that Jay-Z bought together with his wife Beyoncé and other artists such as Rihanna, Madonna, and so on. Each of the artists that came aboard at that time owned a piece of Tidal. Jay-Z and his other partners paid $56 million for Tidal in 2015. 

However, Tidal didn’t fare well compared with its main competitors, Apple Music and Spotify. Today, Spotify and Apple Music are the two dominant music streaming services. Spotify has more than 155 million subscribers, whereas Apple Music has 60 million-plus subscribers

Today, Tidal is available in 56 countries, and its users can enjoy more than 25,000 videos and over 70 million songs. The last time the company disclosed the number of its subscribers was in 2016. At that time, they had around 3 million subscribers. 

According to the purchase agreement, the $297 million deal will make Square the majority stock owner in Tidal. Jesse Dorogusker, a former executive in Apple, will be the interim CEO of Tidal, and the entire Tidal leadership team will be retained. Furthermore, all of Tidal 200 employees will be retained as well. Jay-Z will also have a role under the new management, but he will now join Square’s board. That way, he will still have a voice in decisions that affect the music streaming service. 

The acquisition is set to be finalized in the second quarter of 2021.

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