| 09 Aug 2022
Jay-Z to acquire Scandinavian music streaming service WiMP

MUMBAI: After Dr Dre's Beats Electronics was bought by Apple last year for $3 billion, American rapper Jay-Z is all set to acquire Aspiro, the Scandinavian company behind streaming services WiMP and Tidal for $56 million. The bid, which was made by Project Panther, indirectly owned by Jay-Z's company S. Carter Enterprises, has been unanimously recommended to shareholders by Aspiro's board of directors.

"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," said the press release published by Aspiro's board of directors' Independent Bid Committee welcoming the offer.

In Scandinavia, WiMP is considered as a direct rival to Spotify, as is WiMP HiFi, a higher-resolution version that was rebranded as Tidal when it launched in the UK and US in October 2014. This deal pitches Jay Z into direct competition with Beats Music, the streaming service that is co-founded by Dr Dre.

According to 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. WiMP HiFi offers higher-quality streams for twice the monthly cost. Also, internet sources claim that Aspiro began talks with Jay Z's company back in December.

In related news, Apple is expected to re-launch Beats Music under its iTunes brand in the next couple of months and Spotify is reportedly raising $500 million of new funding to fuel its growth. Google also has made itself stand among the big-leagues with Google Play All Access and YouTube Music Key services.