Square Finalizes Tidal Acquisition

Financial services company Square completed its acquisition of a majority ownership stake in Tidal, the streaming service owned by Jay-Z and a consortium of artists, on Friday (April 30), Billboard has confirmed.

The deal was finalized for a total of $302 million, slightly higher than the $297 million that was announced in March. Under the arrangement, Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors, and Square executive Jesse Dorogusker will run the streaming service as its interim leader.

Square will soon begin its search for a permanent head of Tidal, but Dorogusker should provide a stable hand to lead the streaming service forward. He previously lead the development of the ubiquitous Square Reader and lead the team that launched Apple’s lightning connector during his time at the tech company.

In an interview with Billboard after the acquisition was announced last month, Dorogusker said that while the core streaming service would remain an important part of Tidal, Square wants to expand Tidal to fully serve artists across the board.

“We’re especially interested in creating new adjacent opportunities in service of the whole artist experience and their experience with their fans in addition to the streaming service,” Dorogusker said. “That could be more about creating new markets like Square did in the early days, we were serving customers that were largely underserved and created a market. We see millions of entrepreneurs, artists, musicians in the world who are underserved.”

Tidal will be run as an independent business under the Square umbrella, and Square will keep the management team and the current employees in place as it moves forward. In addition, the initial set of artists with ownership stakes in Tidal — a list that includes names like Beyoncé, Madonna, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, and Lil Wayne — will also keep their stakes in Tidal.

Square’s new position as the owner of Tidal should ease concerns around the music industry, as Tidal had repeatedly fell behind on payments to rights holders over the years. With over $3 billion in cash on hand, Square shouldn’t run into the same issues.