Jay Z bids £40m for Swedish music streaming Spotify rival Tidal

Emma Haslett
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Jay-Z performs with wife Beyonce (Source: Getty)

Spotify could be about to become another issue to add to Jay-Z's list of 99 Problems: the US music mogul has bid half a billion krone, about £40m, for Aspiro, the parent company of Swedish streaming platform Tidal.

The platform, which launched in the UK in October, focuses on high quality "lossless" music. At the moment it offers 25m tracks for about £19.99 a month. That's in comparison to more than 30m on Spotify, at about £9.99 a month.

Aspiro's largest shareholder, Schibsted, which owns 75 per cent of shares in Aspiro's parent company, has apparently recommended the offer, putting a hefty 59.1 per cent premium on its share price.

Trond Berger, Schibsted's chief financial offers, said there was "a lot of potential further growth", but that Jay-Z's company Project Panther Bidco "has adequate financial resources and a high level of competence in the music industry".

Hence, I think they will be a better owner to lift Aspiro and its advanced music streaming service to a new level.

Could Jay-Z, aka Sean Carter, be looking to rival Dr Dre for inspiration? Last April, Dre overtook Jay-Z as the world's highest-earning hip-hop act when sold Beats, his headphone brand, to Apple for $3bn.

The brand, whose sale made Dr Dre the first hip hop billionaire, also included Beats Music, a music streaming service. It's thought this was what Apple was after, as it seeks to position its iTunes music download service as a rival against Spotify.

The biggest brand in hip hop

Jaz-Z once said he's "not a businessman, I'm a business, man" - but there's no doubting his entrepreneurial nouse.

Valued at $520m by Forbes, his investments include clothing brand Roc Nation, which is said to be "worth a healthy nine figures", while in November wine and spirits company Sovereign Brands said he had bought its luxury Armand de Brignac champagne brand, whose bottles sell for just short of £200, for an undisclosed sum.

His music label, Roc-a-Fella records, represents artists including Kanye West. As president and chief executive of legendary hip hop label Def Jam until 2007, he can also take credit for launching the career of Rihanna.

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