Jay-Z is Taking on Spotify by Buying Aspiro for £37 Million

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Rapper and music mogul Jay-Z is buying Scandinavian music-streaming company Aspiro for 464 million Swedish crowns (£37.2m), in a bid to take on Spotify.

Aspiro currently runs an ad-free service called WiMP and the high-definition offering called Tidal. Both are aimed at keen music lovers, with track recommendations, curated playlists and interviews with artists. Perhaps most importantly, they also offer audio available to stream and download in the lossless FLAC format.

WiMP, which serves Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Sweden; launched in 2010 and in 2014 had 580,000 paying users. Tidal launched in the US and UK last year, and provides access to access to 25 million tracks in 16-bit FLAC format for £19.99 per month.

That's rather more pricey than a Spotify subscription, but it is far better in terms of audio quality. Jay Z has made the purchased (fairly indirectly) via his company Project Panther Bidco. The offer was accepted by the Norwegian owner of Asporp, Schibsted, today. It remains to be seen what will be made of the purchase. [Reuters]