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Square Is Buying Music Platform TIDAL, and Jay-Z Is Joining Square's Board

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Updated Mar 4, 2021 at 9:26AM

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Here's why the fintech thinks acquiring an entertainment platform could grow its business.

TIDAL, the global music and entertainment platform owned by artists including Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Coldplay, Kanye West, Madonna, and several other prominent musicians, is the newest member of Square's (SQ -4.25%) growing ecosystem, it was announced today.

TIDAL is best known as a streaming platform, and houses 70 million songs and 250,000 videos, with availability in over 50 countries around the world. It has relationships with over 100 music labels and distributors.

Man listening to music with a cellphone and headphones.

Image source: Getty Images.

Square isn't acquiring TIDAL in its entirety. The fintech giant is paying $297 million in cash and stock for a majority stake, with current owners like those artists mentioned above owning the rest of the business after the deal is finalized (expected in the second quarter). And while the company will technically become a part of Square, the platform will continue to operate independently.

Once the deal is finalized, TIDAL shareholder and board member Jay-Z is expected to join Square's board of directors. And to be clear, Square doesn't expect TIDAL to have a major impact on the company's revenue or profit right away.

According to Square CEO Jack Dorsey, acquiring TIDAL 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. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for sellers," Dorsey says.

Square's goal has been to help sellers and individuals be able to fully participate in the economy and help them grow, and the company seems to have a similar vision for TIDAL. As Dorsey said on Twitter shortly after the deal was announced, "We'll work on entirely new listening experiences to bring fans closer together, simple integrations for merch sales, modern collaboration tools, and new complementary revenue streams."

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