Dr. Dre had Beats Music—until he sold it to Apple—and now Jay Z is set to buy his own music streaming service. The rapper mogul is set to buy Swedish tech firm Aspiro for $56 million, forcing his way into one of the most competitive and unstable markets in tech .
The deal has unanimous support from Aspiro’s board, but hasn’t been officially finalized just yet. Once it is approved, Jay Z’s company, Project Panther, would take over two different streaming services, WiMP and Tidal, both offering high-quality audio and a curated experience. WiMP made its debut in 2010 and is available in a handful of European countries, while Tidal launched last year for U.S. and U.K. customers.
It’s unclear what Jay Z plans to do with Aspiro, though the company will allow him to skip the first few steps of launching his own streaming service. The rapper released his most recent album as a Samsung exclusive, and it’s certainly possible that WiMP and Tidal subscribers could get early access to his next record as an added incentive to sign up.
We’re not expecting the Jay Z-backed service to take off immediately, especially in the face of tough competition from Apple-Beats, Spotify, Pandora and others. Still, we’re curious to see what the rapper does next.