Square Buying Jay-Z’s Tidal?

Jay Z

The payments company Square has discussed acquiring Tidal, the music streaming service controlled by the rapper Jay-Z, as part of a push to diversity, Bloomberg reports.

Jay-Z paid $56 million to buy Tidal in 2015 and using the strength of his brand and popularity began promoting the music streaming service to higher heights. In 2017, the telecoms company Sprint (now merged with T-Mobile) paid $200 million to acquire a 33% stake in Tidal, valuing the music streaming app at $600 million.

Now, Square is said to be interested in buying Tidal as part of a diversification push. Notably, Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey and Tidal’s owner Jay-Z are known to be close friends and have been spotted hanging out together in locations including the Hamptons in New York and a beach in Hawaii. It seems that the interest to buy Tidal has been brewing from that friendship.

Tidal is a popular music streaming app and claims to have over 3 million subscribers. However, it’s usage is nothing compared to that of dominant streaming apps like Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music, which collectively have hundreds of millions of users.

That Square, a payments company, is looking to buy Tidal seems somewhat surprising given that music streaming is outside the company’s main focus. It now looks like Square may be looking to diversify into other businesses and sees music streaming as a way to do that. 

Photo credit: Joella Marano, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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