- Square has held talks to buy Jay-Z’s music streaming platform Tidal, according to a new Bloomberg report.
- Jay-Z bought Tidal in 2015 for $56 million and proceeded to debut exclusive releases on the platform, like Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album in 2016. However, Tidal has struggled to keep up with players like Spotify.
- The report comes after Dorsey and Jay-Z were seen vacationing together twice this year, once in the Hamptons in August and in Hawaii this month.
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Digital payments processor Square has discussed buying Tidal, Jay-Z’s music streaming platform, sources told Bloomberg.
As the outlet notes, the talks may not necessarily lead to an acquisition, but the reported discussion could be part of Square’s ongoing strategy to build up more standalone services within its arsenal of offerings.
The news of the discussions also comes after Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was seen vacationing with both Jay-Z and Beyoncé this year in New York and most recently in Hawaii this month.
Tidal and Square did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
Jay-Z shelled out $56 million for the service in 2015 and was publicly supported by the likes of Alicia Keys, Madonna, and Nicki Minaj. High-profile musicians like Kanye West have struck deals to make some releases exclusive to Tidal. Rihanna artist gave Tidal an exclusive one-week window for subscribers to stream her album “ANTI” in 2015, but the rollout was botched when the album accidentally released hours before it was scheduled to.
Jay-Z’s own music had been exclusive to the service, but was listed back on Spotify in 2019, as Bloomberg notes. Beyoncé’s highly-successful album “Lemonade” debuted exclusively and unexpectedly on her husband’s platform in 2016. It’s now available on Spotify and Apple Music.
Read more: You can now stream Spotify directly on the Apple Watch. That’s good news for users and bad news for Apple’s all-in-one subscription strategy.
Tidal was designed to be an alternative to services like Spotify and Pandora, and though it rocketed to the No. 16 spot in the App Store shortly after launching, it hasn’t proven to be a formidable rival to mainstream streaming platforms. Spotify has criticized business models centered around exclusive releases, saying they’re bad for the music industry and for artists. Apple Music also employs exclusive releases as part of its strategy.