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By Hove: Jay Z’s Tidal Wave

Jay Z may have 99 problems, but having the coin to scoop up a Spotify competitor ain’t one. The rapper and entrepreneur has snapped up streaming service Tidal’s parent company, Aspiro, for a reported tidy 464 million Swedish Krona- the equivalent of £37m.

Aspiro was purchased by Project Panther Bidco, of which Jay Z is the main shareholder via S. Carter Enterprises LLC. The company offered the Board Aspiro a premium of 59.1% on its share price.

According to Music Week the independent bid committee within the Board of Aspiro unanimously recommended that the shareholders of Aspiro take the money and run. Quickly.

Hove evidently took a quick glance into the future and decided that, much like Victor Kiam, he likes streaming so much that he would buy the company! A press release stated: “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”.

All of which is very interesting. Swedish based ‘hi-def’ streaming service Tidal launched in the UK and US last year, and entered five more European markets earlier this month. Along similar lines to Neil Young’s Pono Player, the service has boasted a superior quality of sound than to the likes of competitors such as Spotify, Rdio and Deezer. Of course, Spotify recently announced that it had hired Goldman Sachs to raise an additional $500m in funding so it’s heating up!

Will Tidal prove to be a snake oil streaming service or a Spotify slayer? Only time will tell but you can bet your most treasured playlists that The Gen will be at the forefront of the streaming showdown, which now bizarrely involves Jay Z, Neil Young, Google, Apple and Spotify.

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