Jay-Z might be making moves with his recent sale of Tidal to Jack Dorsey’s Square, but that also means that his silent partners are also making a nice chump change with the sale.
Jay-Z took home $297 million, but his co-owners also hit the jackpot when the sale was made. Among those who came together with HOV to buy Tidal in 2015 include his wife Beyonce, Rihanna, Damian Marley, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, J.Cole, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Chris Martin (Cold Play), Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Madonna, Jack White, Win Butler & Regine Chassagne (Arcade Fire), and Jason Aldean.
According to data from the recent sale, those who partnered with Jay-Z were “gifted 3% in equity in Tidal.” Because of that, each artist who invested will be walking away with approximately $8.91 million.
There have been mixed reactions to Jay-Z’s decision to sell TIDAL, including heavy criticisms from the rap and hip hop communities. Recently DJ Akademiks, while praising Jay-Z’s business moves, also accused the rapper turned businessman of acquiring black consumers for his companies by posing and branding it as black-owned then selling said companies to white people.
Akademiks made the stinging criticism as he assessed the Roc Nation mogul’s latest business move.
“Jay-Z bought a company, he said it was for Black creators. He said people shouldn’t support Apple and Spotify because they’re White-owned and he wanted to have something for the culture, for the artists, by the artists, and he wanted to keep it Black-owned and he wanted to do it that way. He did many B-Side concerts and sh*t like that talking about Black excellence, Black power, you should support him because he owned a Black business even though we found out later when they went to Sweden at Tidal headquarters, pretty much not one of the employees or the higher executive people at Tidal were Black.”
DJ Akademiks continued that Jay-Z has proven a “bait and switch” tactic that uses black people. “the Black-owned Tial is now owned by Jack Dorsey, the white man,” he said. He referenced Jay Z’s tidal deal with Sprint, which made him hundreds of millions than the remainder of shares to Square. “He’s not doing it for Black people, he’s doing it for his own selfish means,” Akademiks said.
In spite of what critics say, it seems that the decision to sell was a sound one by Jay-Z that not only brought a great payday to Jay-Z, but he has recovered his own investment with profit. Tidal was said to have plateaued and the investment at a standstill prior to Jay-Z deciding to sell.
Nevertheless, Jay-Z has proven that his business acumen is cutting edge, and his bargaining ability is top-notch with his re-sale deals which also includes the recent sale of shares in his champagne brand Armand de Brignac to the French luxury brand LVMH. The deal will not afford many opportunities to boost the sale and distribution of luxury beverages.
“Tidal started with the idea of honouring artists by being artist-owned and led, focused on an umcompromised experience of the art,” Jack Dorsey had tweeted following the closure of the deal.
“It’s refreshing and right. The vision only grows stronger as it’s matched with more powerful tools for artists, inclusive of new ways of getting paid.”
Meanwhile, it seems that Dorsey doesn’t plan to change the purpose and functioning of the organization as he says it will continue to be a tool for artistes. “THANK YOU for your loyalty and commitment to artists and their work. TIDAL will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture. Our commitment to you is to constantly listen, learn, and work to make a service you love.”
Along with a photo he shared with himself and Jay-Z sitting by a table, he says that Jay-Z will remain to lead Tidal. Still, the new agreement also means that Jay Z is also going to the integral in the functioning of Seller and Cash App- the sister companies alongside Square.
“I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I’m inspired to work with him. He’ll now help lead our entire company, including Seller and the Cash App, as soon as the deal closes.”
It’s unclear whether Square will continue to promote and market Tidal as Black-owned for black artistes, although it seems that Dorsey said one thing’s for sure- the platform will stay true to the purpose as for artists getting the most out of their music streaming.
Music streaming has become a major stream of income for artists, especially now with the pandemic when tours are closed off, and parties are banned, streaming is the only source of income for many artists.