Jay Z buys up Norwegian streaming service Wimp

Jay Z has bought the Norwegian streaming service Wimp and its audiophile offering Tidal Hifi.

His company Project Panther Bidco put in a bid of 464 million kroner (around $60 million) for the company Aspiro, whose principal interest is Wimp. The sale puts Jay in direct competition with Dr Dre’s Beats service, which was bought by Apple last year for $3 billion.

The announcement was made by Norwegian media company Schibsted, which owns Aspiro via yet another company, Streaming Media.

“Schibsted believes there is great potential for further growth for the company. Aspiro needs substantial capital to expand and a strong and dedicated owner to compete in the global market for music streaming,” the company’s executive vice president Trond Berger Schibsted said in a press release.

Wimp, which is currently only available in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Poland, is in the process of launching Tidal Hifi, its high-quality streaming service in the US that charges $20 a month for a subscriptions. The monthly fee is far higher than its competitors, but Wimp is hoping to target audiophiles (and, judging by its promotional material, men who wear expensive watches – men like Jay Z, in fact).

The concept was launched in Norway last autumn under the name WiMP, and the company’s Peter Tonstad said the service has seen “high demand” despite being offered at NOK 199 ($33) a month.

“There’s a vacuum on the market – where sales of high end sound systems have grown exponentially – but digital music until we launched our HiFi-product has been compressed. Now it’s finally possible to match the quality of the music you play with the gear you play it on,” he told MusicNorway.

Check out the promo video for Tidal below. [via Dagens Naeringsliv]



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