Thug-rapper and self-professed former crack cocaine dealer Jay-Z is becoming a deala’s dream come true. The Brooklyn-born attributes his business acumen to his years selling the highly addictive drug to the Black community of New York City. He admits the skills he honed selling the product and defending his turf have taught him a lot. Now, he is poised to purchase Swedish online streaming company Aspiro for the price of $57 million. The price is quite generous as it is 150% above the current valuation. Executives at Aspiro publicly acknowledged receiving the offer from the singer and stated they will readily accept it.
If the deals goes through as expected, Jay-Z will fold this company into his venture called Project Panther Bidco. He intends to have the service offered globally. In Scandinavia, the subscription service is called WiMP. It is registered in the United States as “Tidal”. The Stockholm-based entity will already has licensing agreements with the likes of Warner Brothers, Sony, and Universal. This gives them access to a trove of music tunes. In addition, the subscription has magazine and video content available.
“Aspiro is a media technology company in the forefront of the ongoing redefinition of music consumption,” a spokesperson for S. Carter Enterprises tells PEOPLE of the $56 million deal that’s underway. “Panther believes that the recent developments in the entertainment industry, with the migration to media streaming, offers great potential for increased entertainment consumption and an opportunity for artists to further promote their music.”
It is unclear what Jay-Z’s long-term prospects are for the service. Fellow rapper Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Lovine purchased Beat headphones several years ago and turned it into a profitable venture. They later turned around and flipped it to Apple Computers for $3 billion. Perhaps Jay-Z is looking to replicate that success. In recent years, entertainers have been taking their wealth and become high tech venture capitalists of sorts. Geezer rocker Neil Young ponied up $6 million to buy mp3 maker Pono whose specialty player turns out vinyl record sounding music tunes. Jay-Z is believed to have a network in excess of a half-billion dollars. That is in addition to the vast wealth of his wife Beyoncé.
Many are speculating that the move is meant to challenge Spotify.
What do you think of the Jay Z Aspiro deal?