Square Inc. takes over majority of TIDAL

US-amerikanische Medien vermelden, dass Square Inc. die Mehrheit des Musik-Streaming-Dienstes TIDAL übernehmen werde. Jay-Z wechselt im Zuge dieser Übernahme in den Vorstand von Square Inc.

TIDAL started in 2014 with the intention of being a music streaming service that focuses on artists and their music. A service in which artists should be directly involved in some cases and thus not be solely dependent on any rights exploiters, and thus ultimately also profit directly in the best possible way.

These were the noble goals of rapper Jay-Z when he took over TIDAL from the Norwegian-Swedish company Aspiro AB in 2014. At that time, he had an illustrious group of well-known artists on board, such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Prince, Kane West, Daft Punk, Madonna, Alica Keys and many others. They were all eager to promote TIDAL.

However, not much remained of the initial euphoria, because the direct commitment of the musicians to TIDAL gradually ebbed away, probably also for the reason that above all the elite of pop heaven strives to be represented in all relevant offerings.

Thus, TIDAL is ultimately a streaming provider like all the others, boasting today more than 70 million music titles on offer, whereby at least for a while it could exclusively claim to offer hi-res audio in addition to content in CD quality. But many other services now offer this as well, so the only really exclusive thing today is the fact that they offer said hi-res audio encoded in MQA.

Now it seems that Jay-Z’s time at TIDAL has also come to an end, because, as US media have announced, Square Inc. is to take over the majority of the streaming service.

Square Inc. is a financial services company based in San Francisco that was founded in 2009. The CEO of Square Inc. is Jack Dorsey, formerly a software developer and in this profession co-founder of the short message service Twitter.

In an initial statement, Square Inc. announces that it will…

“Square and Tidal will continue to support artists and create a more sustainable, collaborative and beneficial music industry.”

Square Inc.

It is also known what the future holds for Jay-Z, as the rapper reveals this in his part of the statement surrounding Square Inc’s acquisition of TIDAL.

“I’ve said from the beginning that TIDAL is about more than just streaming music, and six years later it remains a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to support them on their creative journey.

Jack is one of the greatest minds of our time, and our many discussions about the endless possibilities of TIDAL have made me even more excited about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join Square’s board. This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all that this new chapter has to offer.”

Shawn Jay-Z Carter

Square Inc is likely to pay US$297 million for a significant majority stake, he said. The purchase price would be a mix of cash and shares. Existing artist shareholders are expected to remain shareholders. According to the information currently available, TIDAL is to operate independently within Square Inc. alongside the Seller and Cash App. ecosystems, according to the word.

Getting to the point

It remains exciting where TIDAL is heading after the takeover. The fact is that at the moment it is not really easy for any provider in this sector to establish a sustainable business model in the long term. Quantity alone has long since ceased to be decisive; everyone offers it. Whether hi-res audio is actually relevant for the masses is an open question. What is essential is the way in which services present customers with exactly the right content. And then, of course, there is the question of how artists, who are ultimately the ones who provide the content, can actually profit and finally earn fair revenues.

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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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