Music mogul, business man JAY-Z has made another LUCRATIVE money move!
The ‘Big Pimpin’ rapper just finalized a deal to sell the majority interest in his streaming platform Tidal to the financial services company Square for $350 million. Square is owned by Jay-Z’s friend and business partner Jack Dorsey. The two announced the deal back in March but it wasn’t finalized until April 29.
According to TMZ.com, Square gets 80 percent ownership of Tidal, along with licensing deals with the major record labels. All of the artists and owners currently involved will remain with the company too. Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors as part of the agreement and Tidal will continue running as a separate company, but will now have Square’s software technology as one of its resources.
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.”
“Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes and individuals through Cash App, we believe we can now work for artists to see the same success for them, and us,” he said.
Jay-Z purchased Tidal in 2015 for $56 million in a partnership with several artists, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Alicia Keys, and others. Tidal has a catalog of over 70 million songs and 250,000 videos. The streaming service also has listeners in more than 56 countries. “TMZ” also reports that Jay-Z and Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez, who helped broker the deal, will stay with the company and help run Tidal. So it’s a WIN-WIN situation for all parties involved and another HUGE pay-day for HOV!