Jay Z is close to acquiring the company behind WiMP, one of Spotify’s biggest streaming rivals, for $56 million, the Financial Times reports.
WiMP is hugely popular in Scandinavian countries. It is a rival to Spotify and offers a similar music-streaming service. The company behind WiMP also runs Tidal, a Norwegian version of the service.
Project Panther Bidco, a company owned by Jay Z, offered $56 million for the company, Aspiro, which is based in Sweden.
Reuters is reporting that Aspiro’s main shareholder has already accepted Jay Z’s offer, virtually sealing the deal.
Jay Z isn’t the first rapper to get involved with streaming sites. Dr. Dre is a cofounder of Beats Music, the headphones and music-streaming company that Apple acquired for $3 billion in May.
Here’s a statement from Jay Z about the acquisition offer:
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.
Streaming services like WiMP and Spotify dominate the music market in Norway. Piracy has fallen to record lows in the country, and the music industry is thanking legal streaming sites for the steep decline in file sharing.