Jay Z splashes out US$56m on Tidal music to take on Spotify

He's got 99 problems, but hi-res audio streaming ain't one

He's one of the biggest names in music, with successful business under his belt, but that hasn't stopped Shawn "Jay Z" Carter from wanting a piece of the music streaming industry. 

Project Panther Bidco, a company indirectly owned by Mr Z's S. Carter Enterprises, has made a US$56m takeover bid for Aspiro, the company behind Scandinavian music streaming services WiMP and Tidal - the latter of which serves up higher resolution audio and was launched in the UK and US in 2014.

The services are direct rivals to Spotify, although they have fewer active users. An Aspiro report shows that as of May 2014, WiMP has 566,000 active users, 12,000 of which are paying subscribers. This is compared to Spotify's huge figure of 60 million active users and 15 million paying subscribers.

It's likely that Jay Z's celebrity profile will raise these figures however, although there's clearly quite a bit of catching up to do. 

Tidal is also set to launch a lossless version of its service. While it already offers tracks in CD quality, bettering that of Spotify, Tidal announced at CES 2015 that it would utilise Merdian's new MQA format to allow it to stream high-resolution tracks instead, which could help bring in more users.

READ MORE: Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) High-Res Audio

It's not the first time a high-profile rapper has become involved in the streaming industry. Dr Dre sold his Beats brand, including Beats Music to Apple in May 2014 for a cool US$3 billion. 

Something tells us we should start our own streaming service...

READ MORE: All the hottest stuff, on one scorching page

[via The Guardian]