Funds agency Sq. Inc agreed on Thursday to purchase a majority stake in rapper Jay-Z’s Tidal music streaming service for US$297 million in a deal that would popularize blockchain or different new approaches to storing and shopping for on-line media.
REUTERS: Funds agency Sq. Inc agreed on Thursday to purchase a majority stake in rapper Jay-Z’s Tidal music streaming service for US$297 million in a deal that would popularize blockchain or different new approaches to storing and shopping for on-line media.
Sq. Chief Govt Jack Dorsey, who additionally runs Twitter Inc, stated in a press release that the tie-up “comes down to 1 easy thought: discovering new methods for artists to help their work.”
Sq. and Tidal would work on new listening experiences “to deliver followers nearer collectively,” easy integrations for merchandise gross sales and monetary instruments for artists, he added in a Twitter put up.
Such new choices might benefit from rising applied sciences akin to blockchain and cryptocurrencies that Dorsey views extremely, stated Avivah Litan, a know-how analyst at consulting firm Gartner.
“You want the functions to drive the brand new economic system,” Litan stated. “Nobody’s going to only go get a cryptocurrency pockets if there’s nothing to purchase.”
Among the many obscure blockchain methods that Sq. and Tidal might assist popularize are digital information generally known as non-fungible tokens (NFT) that function digital signatures to certify who owns pictures, movies and different on-line media.
The provenance of autographs and memorabilia could possibly be tracked by related NFT, Litan stated, probably making them much more worthwhile and important to artists’ followers.
Dorsey has supported so-called decentralization applied sciences akin to blockchain as a result of they allow individuals to retailer information and course of transactions with out counting on huge tech corporations and different service suppliers that revenue off being a gatekeeper.
Whereas corporations nonetheless might develop associated companies, customers would have extra management over what they view and personal on-line, Dorsey stated at a convention final yr.
Martha Bennett, an analyst on the consulting agency Forrester, stated corporations and artists already making an attempt to promote music on to followers by way of blockchain-based methods have had restricted success.
Tidal calls itself an artist-owned service backed by Kanye West, Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj amongst others, and is out there in additional than 56 international locations. It has sought to differentiate itself from Spotify and different rivals by committing to offering larger sound high quality to listeners and a larger share of income to artists. Nevertheless it has lagged in subscribers.
“Once you assume purely about breaking into the market, if anyone with the model identify of Jay-Z and Beyonce do not handle to interrupt the stranglehold of the well-established streaming platforms then who else can,” Bennett stated.
Sq. didn’t disclose the proportion of its possession by way of the money and inventory deal. Tidal will function independently and present artist shareholders will preserve possession, Sq. stated.
It added that Jay-Z, whose actual identify is Shawn Carter, would be a part of its board.
Jay-Z purchased Tidal for roughly US$56 million in 2015 from Norwegian entrepreneurs.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Modifying by Ramakrishnan M., Bernard Orr and Richard Pullin)