Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey discuss how their friendship led to sale of Tidal

Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey discuss how their friendship led to sale of Tidal
Jay-Z (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Jay-Z sold the majority interest in his streaming platform Tidal in April to the financial services company Square for $350 million. Square is owned by Jay-Z’s friend and business partner Jack Dorsey, who also is the co-founder and CEO of Twitter. The two moguls stopped by Twitter Spaces on Monday, June 28, 2021, where they discussed their friendship and business dealings. During the enlightening talk, it became clear that their energies had to match before any partnerships emerged and that their shared interest was in growing businesses.

“I think we were aligned in our conversation and viewing artists and creatives as small businesses and treating each individual artist as a business,” the Roc Nation boss explained. “And the things that Square and Cash App were doing is pretty much aligned with what one does with their own brand. You create a business, take out a small loan, get the things you need to help you be successful and build it out from there. So our conversations just naturally aligned.”

In the Tidal deal, Square gains 80 percent ownership of Tidal, along with licensing deals with the major record labels. All of the artists and owners involved remained with the company, too. Jay-Z joined Square’s board of directors as part of the agreement, and Tidal continues running as a separate company but now also has Square’s software technology as one of its resources.

Dorsey elaborated on how their likenesses and similarities eventually led him and Jay-Z to become friends first and him later adding value to Tidal. “We started talking a year ago now and saw so many parallels. I’d tell you stories about our work around helping small businesses — most of the financial industry is working against them — and in conversation, it just became so apparent that there were so many parallels in spirit because of what a musician and a small business is going through,” Dorsey added.

“What really dawned on me was how weak some of the tool sets are for artists with analytics and data to understand what they’re doing and help them inform their decisions, especially considering other revenue streams like merchandise and touring and NFTs. It felt a little weird on the surface, but when you delve down there’s a lot in common.”

Check out the interview with Jay-Z and Dorsey below.


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