Tidal, one of the most direct rivals to Spotify, was launched in 2014 trying shortly after to differentiate itself from the main streaming platforms, betting on high quality sound and exclusive content for its subscribers, something that has led to headaches along the way, given some complications that have arisen over time.
Today it is in the news as it starts a new journey having Square, Inc, the financial services company of Jack Dorsey, current CEO of Twitter, with a majority stake in it.
Square Inc. will have to solve problems and face new challenges in Tidal.
It should be remembered that, to date, Tidal has been backed by a consortium of music artists, with rapper Jay-Z at the helm, who acquired it shortly after its official launch. Years ago, it was reported that Apple was interested in acquiring the service, although Tidal denied it.
Square Inc. has invested a total of $297 million in the deal, combining cash and stock. In addition, Square Inc. is committed to Tidal continuing to operate independently, like its other companies.
The announcement has also been made by Jack Dorsey himself on his Twitter profile, in a thread that also tries to respond to the fact that a streaming company and a financial services company are joining forces.
Dorsey adds that:
It all 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 is a compelling one between music and the economy. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for marketers.
In this way, it tries to offer the same possibilities to artists as they have been enabling for marketers, indicating that:
Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes and individuals through the Cash app, we believe we can now work to enable artists to see the same success for them and for us. We will start small and focus on artists’ most critical needs and growing their fan bases.
In this new venture, one of the issues to be addressed will be dealing with back payments to rights holders.
In addition, as Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at Square Inc, told Billboard, Tidal will develop new artist-oriented tools while continuing to offer its service to consumers.
Jay-Z also weighed in in a press release noting that:
Artists deserve better tools to help them on their creative journey. Jack and I have had many discussions about the endless possibilities of Tidal that have further inspired me 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!
We’ll see what this 2021 holds for Tidal.