Block talks Tidal: ‘This will be a massive economy in the future…’


Just what is former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s fintech firm Block up to with Tidal? Having bought the music streaming service last year, Dorsey offered some thoughts at Block’s investor day yesterday, with CNBC reporting his view that it’s a wider bet on the creator economy.

“This will be a massive economy in the future, and we see an opportunity to be a big part of it, all using the tools and platform we’ve already built,” Dorsey told investors. “We acquired Tidal because we saw that artists take a path similar to small businesses, and that there’s a significant gap in the market around artist tools.”

Not a huge surprise: Dorsey voiced similar views in a chat with Jay-Z last June. Block, which recently rebranded from its previous name of Square, has already launched ‘direct-to-artist payments’ on Tidal, routing a percentage of its HiFi Plus tier’s subscribers’ payments directly to the artists they listen to most.

However, this looks set to be about more than Tidal’s ambitions to introduce user-centric payouts. In that chat with Jay-Z, Dorsey cited “data, information, analytics” as some of the areas he sees room for improvement in the music ecosystem. Meanwhile, Block’s lead financial service Cash App also has plenty of potential for use by artists.

Written by: Stuart Dredge