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Photo posted by Jack Dorsey on Twitter

Square Inc., the mobile payments company run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, said Thursday it plans to acquire a majority stake in Tidal, the subscription music streaming service run by rap star Jay-Z.

Why it matters: Dorsey says the deal will help find "new ways for artists to support their work."

Details: Square expects to pay a mix of cash and stock worth $297 million "for a significant majority ownership stake," according to a statement.

  • Existing artist shareholders will be the remaining stakeholders and Jay-Z will be joining the Square board.
  • "TIDAL will operate independently within Square, alongside the Seller and Cash App ecosystems," the statement says.

What they're saying: "New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for sellers," Dorsey wrote in a Twitter thread.

  • "I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey," Jay-Z tweeted.

Be smart: Dorsey has been championing efforts to decentralize payments on the open web via blockchain at Square, and more recently via direct payments at Twitter.

  • Twitter said last week it's creating a new feature that allows users to charge their followers for more content via a payment tool called "Super Follows."

The big picture: The announcement comes amid a renewed push within the music industry to help artists be more fairly compensated for their work.

  • On Wednesday, SoundCloud said it was overhauling its royalties model to begin directly sending subscriber money to artists.
  • The streaming era has forced many musicians to turn to things like concerts and merchandise to make money. Amid the pandemic, much of that revenue has disappeared.

Flashback: Sprint acquired 1/3 of Jay-Z's Tidal in 2017.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from Saturday night, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is forecast to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

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