Square Inc., a digital payment company run by Jack Dorsey, has been in talks to acquire the streaming music service Tidal as part of an effort to diversify, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Dorsey discussed a possible deal with Jay-Z, the rapper and music mogul who acquired Tidal for $ 56 million in early 2015, said the person, who asked not to be named because the negotiations were private. Negotiations may not result in a transaction.
Square declined to comment, while Tidal did not respond to requests for comment.
Tidal, which launched in 2014, has been struggling to keep pace with other streaming services, including Spotify Technology SA and Apple Music. Jay-Z’s own music has been bait for the platform, but he put his music back on Spotify last year – raising questions about Tidal’s health. The closed service has not reported subscriber numbers since it said it had 3 million paying customers in 2016.
Dorsey, on the other hand, has ambitions to transform Square into a much broader company, composed of independent complementary services. Square’s two main products, Square Seller and Cash App, already operate somewhat separately within Square Inc., each with its own “leadership” in the executive team. Dorsey, who spent more than four years on the council of the Walt Disney Co., imagines that Square will similarly have a series of businesses under the same corporate umbrella.
Dorsey was photographed in August in the Hamptons with Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, and then again in December with the powerful couple and actor Sean Penn on a beach in Hawaii.
Tidal’s owners include nearly two dozen high-profile artists, including Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Madonna, Rihanna and others, according to your site. The service is available in 53 countries and offers more than 60 million songs and 250,000 videos.
The service tried to use its star power to offer experiences that complement its music. This includes a Rihanna parade in Paris that was broadcast to Tidal members, as well as Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s charity shows.
– With the help of Scott Moritz