Dr. Dre might not be the only rapper in the music streaming business for long. That’s because Jay-Z is making a move to buy Aspiro, a Swedish company that operates the WiMP Music service and Tidal, as it is known some markets, according to local media reports.
Project Panther, which is owned by Jay-Z’s S. Carter Enterprises, has bid 464 million Krona (that’s around $56 million) to buy the NASDAQ Stockholm-floated company outright, according to a press release. A deal is subject to shareholder agreement but, with Aspiro’s board of directors unanimously recommending that the offer is accepted, its completion seems imminent.
WiMP is available in a handful of European markets — Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland and Sweden — while Tidal offers a “higher fidelity” service, which boasts a superior quality of sound than to the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Deezer’s services. Available in the UK and the U.S. since October 2014, Tidal is priced at $20 per month, which is around double the main competition.
Those two services aside, Aspiro also has a B2b video content platform for publishers called RADR Music News.
Apple, of course, acquired Beats — the company Dr. Dre co-founded — for $3 billion last year. A successful headphones business in its own right, many speculated that it was Beats’ streaming service that prompted Apple to shell out for the company.
Dre’s success — and doubtless vast financial reward from that deal — is unlikely to have gone unnoticed among his peers. As one of the most visible music artists on the planet, it will be fascinating to see exactly what plans Jay-Z has for WiMP and Tidal.