Jay Z’s $56M Streaming Music Deal May Cause Ripples for Spotify

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Hip-hopreneur and businessman extraordinaire Jay-Z has thrown his bling-encrusted hat into yet another money-making venture. The man who Forbes estimated last year to be worth $520 million has spent $56 million of that on matching objects: Swedish music-streaming services.

Reuters reports that Jay Z (aka Shawn Carter), who is involved in everything from producing a clothing line to owning a chain of sports bars, from representing famous athletes in contract negotiations, spent the money to buy Aspiro, which runs the WiMP and Tidal music-streaming services.[more]

WiMP Mobile

Mashable calls it “Beats envy” while Billboard calls it a “very smart move” while Fortune speculates that this might potentially lead to a union between Jay Z and Taylor Swift, who famously refuses to put her music on Spotify because of the low earnings artists receive when consumers play their songs on the service.

If Mr. and Mrs. Carter follow Swift’s lead and provide a better home for artists on his streaming services, that could be bad news for Spotify.

In any event, it’s good news for Aspiro (its share prices jumped 59 percent on the news) as it looks to grow its services: the five-year-old WiMP, which is ad-free and currently serves Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland and Sweden; and Tidal, a high-definition offering that launched in the US and UK last year, and charges customers $20 a month.

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