“I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man!”
Jay Z said it, and he certainly meant it.
The hip-hop mogul’s latest power move could bring HOV into the music-distribution game as he is reportedly preparing to buy the Swedish tech company Aspiro.
Reports surfaced saying Jay Z is offering 464 million Swedish crowns for the company.
That’s roughly $56 million in U.S. dollars.
He’s also offering the entire amount in cash.
If he does add Aspiro to his rapidly growing empire, it will give him ownership of two streaming services — WiMP and Tidal.
At first glance it seems like he would be preparing to battle it out with other streaming services like Pandora or Spotify, but a closer look reveals that might not exactly be the case.
Both of the soon-to-be acquired streaming services would be described by some music heads as more “premium” services compared to services like Spotify.
It’s not just for the everyday man who wants to get his fill of old-school jams or the newest hip-hop tracks. This would be for the dedicated music head who doesn’t just want to listen to new songs. He wants to read about new artists and discover the stories behind their favorite tracks.
Both WiMP and Tidal offer daily track recommendations for users along with interviews and curated playlists.
With all the extra content, the subscription price is much higher than the services most music lovers are used to.
While Spotify only costs about $10 a month, Tidal will cost $19.99 a month, but it will also give users access to more than 25 million tracks and a whopping 75,000 music videos.
There is also a major difference in the markets here.
Currently, WiMP is only available in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland and Sweden.
Of course, if the hip-hop mogul takes over, there is no telling where he might want to take the services next or how he might want to rebrand them.
If Jay Z closes on the deal, he will make the purchase via another project few people know he already has — Project Panther Bidco.
Project Panther has been keeping tabs on Aspiro for some time, The Verge reported, saying that the company was an “innovative high-quality company with strong future growth potential.”
If the deal goes through then Jay Z will join other music greats like Neil Young and Dr. Dre as musicians who crossed the line from artists into distribution through streaming services.