Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Twitter's Jack Dorsey Acquires Tidal Music Streaming

Jay-Z’s deal to sell his music-streaming service Tidal to Jack Dorsey’s financial services company Square has closed, reportedly valuing Tidal at more than $435 million, The NY Post reports.

Square is paying $350 million for 80 percent of Tidal in the deal, which closed on Friday, TMZ reported. A person familiar with the matter confirmed to the Post that Square executive Jesse Dorogusker will serve as interim head of Tidal while Square searches for a permanent lead.

Square will also get licensing deals with the major record labels on the platform, TMZ reported, and Desiree Perez, CEO of Jay-Z’s entertainment empire Roc Nation, will continue to help run Tidal. 

The deal gives Jay-Z an exit for Tidal, which has struggled amid a field of larger streaming rivals like Spotify. The service has been dragged down by weak subscriber numbers — thought to be between 1 and 5 million, paltry compared to Spotify’s 356 million monthly active users — and high turnover in its executive suite.

But the deal also raises questions about why Square, a financial products company, is acquiring a music streaming startup. Dorsey defended the deal in a series of tweets back in March, saying he plans to help Tidal musicians grow their businesses and fanbases by building collaboration tools, making it easier to sell merchandise and creating “entirely new listening experiences.”

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