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Payments company Square, founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is buying a majority stake in music streaming company Tidal, music streaming service partly owned by Jay-Z, who will now become a board member.
In a Twitter thread, Dorsey said that the partnership was to find “new ways for artists to support their work” and that the partners were “going to start small and focus on the most critical needs of artists”.
As a part of the deal, ABC News reports, Square will pay $297 million in cash and stock for Tidal - with the music streaming company remaining in existence as its own product.
Jay-Z tweeted that Tidal was “about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers.”
He added that the “partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
Tidal made its name being a high-resolution streaming service that paid more per stream than competing services like Spotify. According to Ditto Music’s royalties calculator, for 1000 streams Spotify will pay artists $4.37, compared to $12.50 on Tidal.
Jay-Z, and other artists that made deals with Tidal, also retained their music exclusively to the service. In 2017, Jay-Z removed the majority of his music from Spotify, but restored them in December 2019 for his 50th birthday.
The deal between Square and Tidal comes shortly after Spotify announced its own high-resolution streaming option, called Spotify HiFi.
The new tier will be coming in select markets later this year, although the price has not yet been confirmed. As Tidal, and similar high-resolution services from Amazon and Deezer cost more than Spotify’s highest tier (£14.99 per month for each, while Tidal costs £19.99 per month) it is likely to match those prices.