TIDAL Has New Owner - Better Deal For Artists Promised
TIDAL has a new owner who promises to make streaming support the artists it relies on better.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and CEO and founder of Square, has just acquired a majority share in TIDAL.
The announcement started at just after 1pm GMT on Jack's Twitter account, naturally, with a shared playlist where Jack Tweeted: “More from us soon. In the meantime, here's a playlist from Jay/@sc celebrating artists and the entrepreneurial spirit”:
The new owner appears to have the artists in mind stating,
It 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.
This seems to be backed up by the picture posted on Twitter, showing Jay-Z, Tidal's existing owner, and Dorsey say around what looks like a flip chart page with the legend “Artists” dead centre of the page circled for emphasis.
It is no secret that most artists hardly see any revenue from any of the major streaming sites, even after thousands or even millions of plays. Hopefully, this photo opportunity evolves into musicians, writers, and bands being rewarded appropriately by all music streaming services because, without them, these services would not exist.
However, it does look promising as Dorsey posted that the new partnership with Square will deliver more tools for artists, including “new listening experiences to bring fans closer together, simple integrations for merch sales, modern collaboration tools, and new complementary revenue streams”. Merch sales will certainly help, especially as the world slowly emerges from Covid-19 lockdowns preventing gigs, let alone tours and festivals.
We are told that the deal will see Square paying $297 million in a mix of cash and stock to become TIDAL's “significant majority” owner. Jay-Z and Tidal's other existing artist-shareholders still retain some ownership in the company, with Tidal operating independently within Square. Additionally, Jay-Z, who acquired Tidal back in 2015 for $56 million, will join Square's board of directors.
I'm grateful for Jay's vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I'm inspired to work with him. He'll now help lead our entire company, including Seller and the Cash App, as soon as the deal closes.
With Jay-Z adding:
Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board.
Tidal has always pushed its fairness to artists and offers a range of audio tiers, including hi-res lossless audio streams and MQA Masters.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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