Jay Z Aspiro Acquisition, Musicians Turn Avengers Against Spotify

Jay Z's $56 million bid for Swedish music streaming company Aspiro has been accepted, paving the way for the rapper's creation of an online rival to the likes of Spotify and iTunes.

Jay Z, otherwise known as Shawn Carter, placed the bid back in January this year. It was thought that shareholders would not permit the takeover proceed. However, according to Digital Music News, Jay Z's company, Project Panther Bidco Ltd., have now had their purchase of 95.18 percent of Aspiro shares confirmed, and Panther is subsequently moving to compulsory purchase the remaining shares, based on Chapter 22 of the Swedish Companies Act.
"A shareholder who holds more than nine tenths of the shares in a company (the majority shareholder) shall be entitled to buy-out the remaining shares of the other shareholders of the company."
The Aspiro label covers two hifi streaming services, WiMP, and Tidal. Aspiro previously cost $30 a month for its half a million paid subscribers, as opposed to Spotify's 15 million paid subscribers, who were charged approximately half that amount for its services. According to the New York Daily News, Jay Z is looking to relaunch Aspiro under the name TidalHifi and go into direct competition with Spotify.The rapper recently held a meeting in Los Angeles, just before the Grammys, with such names as Kayne West, Rihanna, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk, and - of course - wife Beyoncé, with whom he has a 3-year old daughter, Blue Ivy. All seem to be on board with Jay Z's idea of TidalHifi competing with Spotify, Pandora, and other online streaming services. TidalHifi's distinguishing feature will be that artists will profit from it and be able to distribute their own work. As the Inquisitr reported, however, Jay Z will run into competition with fellow rapper Dr. Dre's rival company Beats Music.Jay Z, 45, was reported by Forbes last year to have an estimated net worth of $520 million, in no small part allowing the rapper to commit to this recent business venture, as well as to concede plagiarism. Jay Z recently settled a legal suit against him for using the instrumentation of 79-year old jazz musician, Bruno Spoerri's 1978 work "On The Way" without permission. As Times Live reports, Spoerri has settled for half the royalties come from Jay Z track "Versus", which features on the Magna Carter album.

Jay Z's takeover of Aspiro adds to his growing entrepreneurial collection, including the 40/40 club and Roc Nation (inclusive of agency accreditation and sportswear.) Hopefully the premise behind the acquisition will prove fruitful.

The world will have to wait and see whether Spotify and similar companies start to show their concern.

[Image courtesy of Larry Busacca/Getty Images]