Jay Z lays blueprint for streaming success

by Mike Sunda

Staff Writer

Hip-hop megastar Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, has fulfilled all the conditions to complete a takeover of Swedish technology company Aspiro, after shareholders gave the necessary approval to his offer.

The Roc-A-Fella boss will hope that success is beyond reasonable doubt for Aspiro, which so far offers two music streaming services, WiMP and Tidal. Both of the platforms could be a holy grail for audiophiles, providing songs in a higher audio resolution than rivals such as Spotify and iTunes.

Carter is not the first musician to take interest in the market. Last year, Neil Young introduced Pono — a portable digital media player and download service that also maximizes audio quality by using the lossless FLAC file format.

Both Carter and Young might find it a struggle, however, to wrest the market away from giants such as Spotify. As of October, 2014, WiMP had 512,000 paying users, according to Aspiro. In contrast, Spotify currently claims over 60 million users, of which over 15 million are paying subscribers.