Equity Stake for Superstars Could Be a Cornerstone of Proposed Venture

Jay Z’s recently reported gathering of star artists, execs and managers, to discuss his proposed streaming venture has caused quite a stir across the biz. Jay is said to have offered 3% participation to the major artists in attendance, including Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Coldplay, the Daft Punk robots and Jack White, for their assistance in branding and marketing the company.

Tidal already has a streaming service in place, with all the major and indie music you'll find on its competitors--including the new Kendrick Lamar and Modest Mouse album, Taylor Swift albums, but not 1989--as well as curated playlists, interviews and other "behind the music" content. Its price tag, however, is $19.95 per month, presumably justified by its lossless (super high-quality audio) streams. It's available in North America and Europe but not yet in Asia, Latin America or Africa.

Meanwhile, wonderers are wondering: Could the equity stake be a slippery slope? How do the artists who don’t get a slice feel about the company? How do Apple and Spotify feel about the artists who’ve sold the use of their brand to the newco? In any case, with his reputation for not leaving money on the table, J-Hova always does well in his deals.

The gathering was lo-pro but still managed to be a shot across the bow. Word has it Mr. Carter envisions a challenge to tech behemoths like Spotify, Apple and Google.

The artist/mogul is currently buttoning up the purchase (via the financial entity Project Panther Bidco) of Aspiro, the Swedish firm that owns the WiMP and Tidal streaming platforms, for a cool $56 million.