Why did Jack Dorsey’s Square buy Tidal, Jay-Z’s failed music service? – Vox

here is the heterosexual news headline : Square, the fiscal services company run by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, is buying Tidal, the streaming music service founded by Jay-Z .
And hera is the motion you, a normal person, may have about this hand : WTF ?
The suffice, depending on how you ’ re inclined to look at deals between billionaires, could be scheme, airheaded, or unintelligent. possibly all of the above .
Square is paying $ 297 million in cash and banal for a “ meaning majority ” of Tidal. Dorsey ’ s Twitter train of thought announcing the hand ( of run ) is dim about what Square intends to do with Tidal, but mentions things like “ wholly newfangled listening experiences ” and “ new complementary tax income streams. ”

It doesn ’ t take much imagination to come up with Square + Tidal rollouts in the future : A Square-enabled way for artists to sell T-shirts on enlistment, or even when they ’ re not on tour, for example .
More intriguingly, given Dorsey ’ s love of All Things Blockchain, and the current mania over NFTs, it won ’ metric ton be surprise to see Square + Tidal shape on their own NFT schema. NFTs ( non-fungible tokens ) are blockchain-enabled digital pieces of … anything that investors and speculators and collectors are hoovering up at a crazy rate. even if none of this makes sense to you, you may have heard about people paying veridical money — a lot of money — for digital ephemera like cartoon caterpillar GIFs or animated trading cards of NBA players dunking or blocking. It ’ s a thing, for now .
So you can picture the Jay-Zs of the worldly concern sell songs, or snippets of songs, or the digital version of a lyric scribbled on a diaper, as NFTs, in deals that let Square and the artist get separate of the bargain .
If they get it out fast adequate — while NFT mania booms — it ’ sulfur easy to imagine many more headlines like these, except you ’ ll replace “ Grimes ” with “ Beyonce ” or whomever :

ampere long as you ’ rhenium all right with the strictly bad hype around these kinds of sales and stories — and the sympathize that some investors, including people who don ’ thyroxine amply understand what they ’ re doing, are going to make a bunch of money, and some will get burned badly ( see : GameStop, and besides Cryptokitties, an early NFT gambit/gimmick that was kind of hot in 2018 and then cooled off but may be hot again ) — then this all seems … o ? possibly … good ?
It surely allows musicians — celebrated ones equally well as ones you ’ ve never learn of — a luck to make money in an industry that presently offers them few options : Streaming music broadly entirely pays out for enormously successful acts, and tour is hard ferment in the best of times. It ’ s besides presently not available at all, due to the pandemic. The most optimistic interpretation of the NFT narrative is that it allows artists ( or anyone ) to capture more of the measure of the farce they create than selling it through middlemen, like criminal record labels or streaming services.

On the other hand : even if you think the mind of Jay-Z selling five-second beatbox video for millions of dollars and high-fiving Jack Dorsey is pretty amazing, none of this requires a $ 300 million manage to buy Jay-Z ’ s company. If square wants to create new ways to help musicians sell real goods and digital goods, it could just do that .
alternatively, Square is paying $ 300 million for a fail music serve that doesn ’ metric ton aid it accomplish any of those goals .
A quick recapitulation of the Tidal floor : In 2015, Jay-Z bought an obscure norwegian stream service for $ 56 million, rebranded it, and launched it as an “ artist-owned ” stream military service. The mind was that Jay-Z had recruited early artists — like his wife Beyonce equally well as Madonna, Rihanna, Daft Punk, and Kanye West — as partial Tidal owners, and Tidal would distinguish itself from competitors like Spotify by offering single music on the service .
But in most cases, the artists involved in Tidal didn ’ thyroxine own their own music — adult music labels did — so they couldn ’ t make their music exclusive on Tidal. And even the ones who did have that ability, like Jay-Z, finally relented and put their stuff on competitive services because that ’ s where all the listeners were .
For a while, it seemed like a big technical school company, likely Samsung, might pay a bunch to own Tidal, even if it wasn ’ thyroxine working. Apple had previously bought Beats for $ 3 billion as a way to vault itself into the stream music business, sol why not ? But that bargain never materialized, and in 2017, Sprint bought a third of Tidal and valued the company at $ 600 million .
reduce to Thursday ’ randomness consider, which values Tidal at something north of $ 300 million in an entrance fee that Tidal hasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worked as a music service. And the thing about the ideas floating around the internet at this very moment, about selling Rhianna shirts or songs on Square are ticket — but not related to Tidal. If Rhianna wants to do those deals, she can just do those deals. Tidal doesn ’ thyroxine own any of her rights to any of that .
so, what you ’ re very left with here is a softwood that looks like a way for Jack Dorsey to move money from his publicly traded company to a company owned by a ridicule he likes to hang out with .

Which wouldn ’ t be the first gear time person in a bore occupation has spent a lot of money to sidle up to an entertainment business. In fact, that dynamic is a core have for Hollywood .
And while $ 300 million is a lot to you, a normal person, it is not much for Square : The party has $ 3 billion in cash on hand and likely paid for most of the cover with its stock, which, like many technical school stocks, has been on a crazy tear and presently values the company at more than $ 100 billion .
so the real Square argument will be : Why not ? If associating ourselves with Jay-Z, who we ’ ve besides put on our board of directors, helps us convert people to buy and sell gorge on Square and talk about creating new prototype for art and ownership, then great. And if not, it hush sounds pretty cool .

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Category : music

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