Jay Z is positioning himself to be the next big player in the digital music space. He just dropped a whopping $56 million on Aspiro, the Scandinavian company behind music streaming services WiMP and Tidal.
WiMP is a direct rival to Spotify in its native Scandinavia, with a higher-resolution version called WiMP HiFi that was rebranded as Tidal when it launched in the UK and US in October 2014.
It sounds to us like Jay Z is trying to become the next Dr. Dre!
The bid was made by Project Panther, which is owned by Jay’s company S. Carter Enterprises. This deal puts Jay Z in direct competition with Beats Music, the streaming service co-founded by Dr. Dre which was later purchased by Apple in the massive $3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics.
Just recently, it was announced that Dre topped Forbes’ annual ‘most paid in hip-hop’ list with $620 million — compared to Jay’s $60 million. We’re sure Jay’s ego didn’t like that too much.
via The Guardian:
In Aspiro’s last public financial statements, it said that WiMP had 512,000 paying subscribers, with 20,000 paying for its more expensive HiFi version, which offers higher-quality streams for twice the monthly cost.
According to Aspiro, it began talks with Jay Z’s company in December – the same month that Project Panther was incorporated as a company in the UK. Aspiro’s board of directors’ Independent Bid Committee has published a press release welcoming the offer.
“The Independent Bid Committee is of the opinion that Panther, indirectly owned by SCE and controlled by Shawn Carter, possesses the proprietary relationships, industry knowledge, as well as economic strength and the necessary commitment in order to realise Aspiro’s strategic plan of expanding the Company’s business and brand globally.”
The deal is done. Aspiro will now sit alongside Jay Z’s other business ventures, which include the Rocaware clothing range, 9IX fragrances, Roc Nation sports agency, Armand de Brignac Champagne, and a stake in NBA basketball team the Brooklyn Nets.