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Jay-Z buys music streaming company Aspiro for $46 Million.
Jay-Z is no novice when it comes to the business of music. Estimated at around half a billion dollars, the mogul has decided to enter the music streaming business by buying Swedish company Aspiro for the equivalent of $56 million. Aspiro runs two music streaming services called WiMP and Tidal that will now be owned by Jay-Z (talk about two birds). This acquisition adds music streaming to his growing collection of companies that include clothing company Rocawear, recording label Def Jam, the 40/40 Club, and sports agency Roc Nation Sports.
WiMP is a music streaming site that focuses on “inspiring users to find new and old favorites.” Stations are curated by editorial teams localized to each country that it is available in. As of right now, that list is fairly short and only includes Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. They also provide an option for professional use which aims to give ad-free content to businesses. For instance, customers attending a gym can vote on which song will play next from a playlist through the app, providing a unique social experience. Tidal is the flip side of this service which is available in the UK and the US, however this is not cheap. The service costs $19.99 a month and gives subscribers access to HD music videos, artist interviews, and the 25 million songs in the Tidal database. This includes the option to stream and download high quality audio in the lossless 16-bit FLAC format. Unlike other similar services like Spotify, their free trial lasts only 7 days so give it a go if you’re into high quality lossless audio.
This could be the first of many things to come as this isn’t the first time Sean Carter has used his business connections to shake up the music industry. In 2013 he partnered with Samsung to release his album Magna Carta… Holy Grail exclusively through an app only available on Samsung devices. Samsung purchased 1 million digital copies of the album before it was even announced and gave them away for free to the first million people with Samsung devices to download the app. This made the album technically Platinum before it was even released, which after many debates, forced Billboard to make a public statement declaring why the deal would not count towards a Platinum certification.
Only time will tell how he plans to use this new company but what do you think? Was the acquisition simply a business move or do you think it’s part of a larger plan to change the music industry?