American rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z has secured a hefty financial windfall with most of Tidal’s sale, his music streaming service. He sells the company to Square, owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. In 2015, Jay-Z deposited about 56 million dollars for Tidal, and now he gets 297 million dollars in cash and shares in Square in return.
Square is a company that provides financial services and mobile payment services. Square’s services are intended to help musicians, for example, sell merchandise or concert tickets. That could become the third branch for Square with which it can earn money. The company already has a consumer payment app, Cash App, and a small business payment service, Square Seller.
Tidal will continue to operate independently within the company, according to Square. Shawn Carter, as Jay-Z’s real name, gets a place on the board of Square. Dorsey and Carter, who are friends, have previously held talks about a possible takeover.
Dorsey and Carter also recently set up a fund with the aim of making the virtual currency bitcoin the common means of payment for the internet. The two put together 500 bitcoins in their fund, good for about 20 million euros.
Dorsey said the trust set up with that money would not come under the control of the founders. He added that he plans to set up bitcoin development teams in Africa and India.
Apple previously held talks for a possible acquisition of Tidal, the service to which well-known artists have committed themselves as co-owners, such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Madonna, Rihanna, Usher and Carter’s wife Beyoncé.
Tidal says it has several million paying subscribers, but that is still much less than the 15 million that Apple has for its music streaming service Apple Music. Competitor Spotify tops the list with 30 million paying customers.