Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jay-Z Nears Deal For Streaming Company

Jay-Z buys Aspiro image
Not to be outdone by Dr. Dre, who made a windfall when Apple purchased Beats last year, rapper and business mogul Jay-Z has bid for the Swedish streaming company Aspiro. The company owns two streaming services offering audio and video called WiMP and TIDAL.

TIDAL has been mentioned on this blog a few times already, since it's a premium service that offers CD quality streams. The service was only launched in the US late last year, and has about 500,000 subscribers at $19.95 per month.

The surprising part of the deal is that Jay-Z's subsidiary company Project Panther Bidco bid only $56.2 million for Aspiro, which seems like a steal compared to what similar services are priced at.

Aspiro's board of directors has approved the deal, and the only thing holding it up now is approval from the shareholders.

I think this is a brilliant step by Jay-Z. It's only a matter of time until all streaming services have at least one hi-res tier, and TIDAL is really leading the pack at this at the moment. Not only that, the price is very reasonable considering the infrastructure and subscribers included. Aspiro looks to be cash-strapped, so it gives the founders an exit strategy while breathing new life into the service.

I don't know if TIDAL will survive when Google's Music Key and Apple's rejuvenated Beats Music launch, but right now it's one of the few streaming services with something unique to offer.

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