After hiccups, Jay-Z’s forray into the streaming music biz moves forward (Update)

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After a slight hiccup with shareholders, it looks like Jay-Z will finally own a streaming music service.

Last week, it was revealed that 120 minority shareholders planned to block the rapper’s $56 million proposal to purchase Aspiro AB, the Swedish music streaming company that owns WiMP and its lossless-streaming counterpart, Tidal.

Detailed by a recent CNBC report, the Chairman of the Shareholders’ Equity Association at Aspiro Power, Sune Karlsson, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri “we will recommend our members to say no to the offer.” The group had claimed the bid “failed to represent the true value for the streaming service business.”

It looks like they’ve quickly reconsidered, however, as the group of shareholders just announced that they have dropped their objections. In a statement, leaders said that “we have together with the major shareholders decided that it is best to accept the bid.”

Jay Z and his investment group, Project Panther Bidco, should now be clear to take control of the Swedish company, which is a Spotify competitor in Europe and boasts 512,000 paying subscribers (including 20,000 who pay $20 per month for Tidal).

Tidal’s focus is on higher-quality streams, a growing market nowadays as we see a resurgence in the desire for better quality music among budding audiophiles. That means accessing those 44.1 kHz, 16-bit audio files translate to a monthly price that’s twice as much as you’d find with competitors like Rdio, Deezer, and Spotify – $20 every 30 days versus $10.

WiMP already has a strong presence in Europe, and Tidal launched last year in the U.K. and the U.S.

Meanwhile, reigning streaming audio service leader Spotify is looking to secure its position in the game by attempting to raise half-a-billion from Goldman Sachs, according to Business Insider which insiders say could potentially put off Spotify’s bid to go public for another year. The company could be valued as high as $6 billion or more by the time it officially files for an IPO.

It looks like the music streaming market is set to be hot this year.

Updated 3/11/2015 by Chris Palermino: This post was updated with information about the minority shareholder’s actions to block Jay-Z’s bid for Aspiro AB, and the groups subsequent change of heart.


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