Before we delve into the $55 million dollar offer Jay-Z is dangling around, lets take a brief moment to get up to speed on how he accrued that amount of money in the first place.
In 1995 Jay-Z, Dame Dash, and Kareem Biggs started a record label called Rocafella Records. Jay-Z was set to be the 1st artist on the label and the first release was an album named (now deemed a hip hop classic) Reasonable Doubt. This was no average album is it contained heavyweight features (Notorious BIG, Mary J Blidge, and Foxy Brown) and celebrity producers (DJ Premier, Clark Kent). With only a distribution deal, they reached a high position on the billboard charts and eventually inked a better deal with giant distributor Def Jam.
The short of it all is Jay-Z, and his esteemed panel of associates, effectively released an album using the same formula (huge producers, heavy singles, and major features) every year for close to 8 years. They all went platinum or greater. Platinum equals 1 million records sold. Do you recall how much a cd costs in 1999? Somewhere in between $12-$20. Add a very successful clothing line, liquor endorsements, and sold out tours and that equals millions in the pocket of one of the greatest rappers ever.
Nothing good lasts forever and Jay-Z eventually split from the company he helped build and served a brief stint as Def Jam’s president. After leaving Def Jam, he signed a major record deal with Live Nation encompassing touring and great decision making power. This lined his pockets with approximately $150 million. Add this to ventures with the NBA, major real estate development, the marriage of Beyonce’ (America’s biggest pop star) and tons of other income and that’s a look into how Jay-Z amassed a net worth of over $400 million. Got it? Good. Now lets take a look at Sean Carter’s newest venture- Aspiro.
Here at Songexam.com, we are advocates of music streaming. Paying 10-12 bucks for a membership that grants you access to millions of songs is the greatest idea in music since paying nothing (read about file sharing if you get the chance). The smartest entrepreneurs know this is the last frontier for selling records. Apple gave Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine more than 1 billion for Beats, a music service they pioneered and marketed.
So what does Aspiro have that Jay Z wants? It appears that this company has two music streaming services Tidal and Wimp that both boast a good music selection with cd quality streaming. That’s great, but what makes it interesting? The fact that WIMP offers plans close to $20, and nearly a half million people are actively paying, is worth it’s weight in gold. Jay-Z could make this service immensely popular by using exclusive content or just plain standing behind it.
So that’s why Jay Z is offering $56 million dollars to a company. It has a track record, it’s innovative, and it’s in his space. I’m sure you “can’t knock the hustle”.