Who owns Tidal?
According to Vox, Jay-Z owns 20% and Square has majority ownership of 80% of Tidal. Square made the purchase public information via its website in March of 2021.
We explained more about it here.
Why Did Jay-Z Sell Tidal?
Reportedly, this is from Jay Z himself:
“I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. Jack and I have had many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities that have made me even more inspired about its future.”
We also think he is making a big bet on the future of live streaming too, read more about that here.
Who Originally Owned Tidal?
Tidal was founded in 2014 by a company called Aspiro, which was later acquired by Jay-Z’s investment company, Roc Nation. Aspiro was founded by Daniel Ek, who is now the CEO of Spotify.
In in addition to Jay-Z and Roc Nation, the Tidal website said the list of original artist owners were as follows:
- Alicia Keys
- Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne
- Calvin Harris
- Coldplay’s Chris Martin
- Daft Punk
- Damian Marley
- J. Cole
- Jack White
- Jason Aldean
- Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter
- Kanye West
- Lil Wayne
- Nicki Minaj
According to The Shade Room, the artists who owned a minority stake were all paid out over $8 million when the service sold.
Changes Under Square Ownership
In contrast to most music streaming services, Tidal offers an extensive catalog of its own exclusive music. The service also has a reputation for quality and reliability. However, in recent years, its business model has become increasingly controversial, not just for Tidal, but for all streaming sites. This is important because the music industry is very much at odds with streaming companies.
The issue is, the division of streaming royalties often comes under scrutiny by industry professionals. Some argue that artists should be paid out much differently. Regardless of what side you are on, it’s important to remember that the current system of streaming royalties is working as intended. Tidal is trying to change things.
Tidal is currently working on something called the “Direct Artist Payout” program (DAP) which will allow artists to get paid a portion of subscription fees directly by subscribers who listen to their music more than others. The company says this would help artists earn more money than they can now. Here is what they said:
This experimental program aims to give artists access to another payment stream by allocating up to 10% of a HiFi Plus subscriber’s fees directly to that account’s top streamed artist. This will allow artists to benefit directly from the support of their fans on TIDAL
Both Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey have publicly talked about empowering artists and helping small businesses make more money. There will no doubt be more changes made to help the artist.
> “It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy.”
What’s Next For Tidal?
Because of the diverse backgrounds of Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey, many things could happen. In fact, we think Tidal has the potential to be one of the best streaming sites in the world.
For starters, we could see Tidal as a marketplace to buy artist merchandise using a Square integration. We could also see it as a platform to gain access to exclusive NFT’s. We may also see them move into VR and live streaming (they sponsored a 2Chainz concert on Oculus on 4/20 last year)
Curious what people are saying about Tidal? Watch this:
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