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Jay-Z bids for WiMP as Spotify raises more finance

By | Published on Friday 30 January 2015


Ha, and you thought Guvera buying Blinkbox Music was exciting. Now Jay-Z is trying to buy the company behind Nordic streaming platform WiMP and its high-def spin-off service Tidal. And these reports seem a whole load more credible than those that said the rapper was bidding for US radio station Hot 97.

Project Panther Bidco, a company seemingly controlled by J-Zed, has put in a bid to buy Norway-based Aspiro, which owns WiMP, and the firm’s biggest shareholder is backing the offer. Reports say that the rapper’s company is offering $56 million for the streaming service. The deal is yet to be done, though various sources suggest it could be completed some time next month.

Spotify-like WiMP has operations in various European markets, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland, and has more recently launched in the US and UK with just the high audio quality element of its set-up under the brand Tidal.

In a statement about its bid, Jay-Z’s company says: “Panther believes that the recent developments in the entertainment industry, with the migration to music and media streaming, offers great potential for increased entertainment consumption and an opportunity for artists to further promote their music. Panther’s strategic ambition revolves around global expansion and up-scaling of Aspiro’s platform, technology and services”.

So there you go. News of Jay-Z’s swoop for WiMP, which of course has been compared to Dr Dre’s role in the Beats Music service (even though he seemed to have next to no involvement in the streaming music spin-off of the Beats headphone business), broke just after reports that Spotify is busy raising new finance.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify has engaged Goldman Sachs to help lead a new round of private fundraising, with plans to bring in another $500 million in playtime-cash. The move suggests that any planned ‘initial public offering’ for the Spotify business is now not likely for another year or two, which fits with what sources at the company have been saying.

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