Jay Z Is Spending $56 Million To Compete With Spotify… And Dr. Dre

The hip-hop mogul’s most ambitious business move is a big-ticket bid on a hi-fi streaming service.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Dr. Dre became the richest man in music last year in part by successfully building a digital streaming platform, Beats Music, and now Jay Z wants a piece of the action. The hip-hop superstar made waves in the music industry this morning with the announcement of his $56 million bid (464 million Swedish Krona) for Aspiro AB, the Swedish parent company of two streaming services, WiMP and TIDAL.

Pending shareholder and regulatory approval, Project Panther Bidco, a subsidiary of Jay Z’s S. Carter Enterprises, will acquire all shares of Aspiro in an all-cash deal. Aspiro’s board has recommended that shareholders accept the offer.

WiMP and TIDAL are marketed differently, but are essentially the same service. TIDAL, which launched last fall, is the U.S. version of WiMP, a four-year-old Spotify competitor that’s only available in Scandinavia. Much like Spotify, TIDAL offers a large catalog of music — 25 million songs — for on-demand streaming.

But unlike Spotify, and most popular streaming services in the U.S., TIDAL uses a high-fidelity 16-bit streaming protocol, making it a leader in the growing trend of premium audio. It also doesn’t offer a free tier. A subscription to TIDAL costs $19.99 a month, twice the cost of the most expensive version of Spotify.

Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics last year included slightly less than $500 million for its Beats Music subsidiary, with many predicting that the streaming service will play a critical role in revitalizing Apple’s own iTunes. The deal earned Dre, a co-owner of Beats Electronics with Jimmy Iovine, a reported $620 million — the most money a musician has ever earned in a single year.

Jay Z, who is a longtime friend and collaborator of Dre’s, most notably on his 2006 comeback album Kingdom Come, has his own history of big ticket business moves. In addition to his clothing company, Rocawear, and full-service music company Roc Nation, he famously bought (and later sold) a share in the New Jersey Nets, helping to move the professional basketball team to Brooklyn in 2012. In 2013, he launched the sports agency Roc Nation Sports in partnership with the Creative Artists Agency.

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This Guy Turned His Fully Functional Shotgun Into A Guitar Because Humans Are Insane

When I was a little kid, I once made a guitar out of an empty tissue box. I used it to strum along to all my favorite children’s songs, and I felt like a total rock star.

I wasn’t the greatest guitarist, but hey, at least I looked cute. When it comes to making instruments out of interesting materials, though, this guy takes the cake.

Reverend Peyton is the front man of his own band, and he’s proven his guitar skills during countless live performances and studio recordings. But when he grew tired of playing a traditional guitar, he sought out something that better catered to his roots. Thanks to his friend Bryan Fleming, the musical reverend now has a shotgun guitar that’s perfect for both concerts and hunting trips.

This is one instrument that might require a permit to play.

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Read More: They Found The Clearest Ice You’ll Ever See And Started Drumming…The Result Was Magical!

To hear more of Reverend Peyton’s musical stylings, check out his band’s Facebook page. And don’t forget to share this unusual performance with the music lovers in your life!

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21 Holiday Gifts That Are Absolutely Perfect For That Freezing Friend You Have

We all know at least one person who is always clutching a piping-hot cup of coffee, or someone who never takes off their coat (or their scarf, or their hat, or their gloves). Luckily for these chilly people, the coldest months of the year are also when all of our favorite gift-giving holidays fall. No matter what holiday you’re celebrating…or even if you’re just in a giving mood…gifts that will warm the soul are always appreciated.

These 21 items would make perfect wintertime gifts for your friend who refuses to move farther than three feet away from the space heater.

1. This mug will keep icicle fingers nice and toasty.

2. Grab a cordless electric tea kettle so you can keep your nice mug full of hot tea.

3. A little calming tea will do the trick!

4. If your office is reminiscent of an Arctic tundra, these USB mittens will make typing a little more bearable for your coworker with the blanket draped over his shoulders.

5. Pair those gloves with a heated mouse.

6. If flats are the only way to go, but you don’t want cold air creeping under the hem of your pants, try these socks.

7. Hands get dry and cold in the winter, but so does lotion. Do you see the dilemma here? Try a heated lotion dispenser.

8. You can wear these heated slippers inside or outside.

9. Good news! There are also heated socks!

10. There are plenty of options for those with cold feet. How about heated insoles?

11. …Or strawberry-themed USB heated slippers?

Because who doesn’t love strawberry-themed USB heated slippers?

12. Never be afraid to get out of that hot shower again…because you have a towel warmer.

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13. Give the gift of staying warm all night with a heated mattress pad.

14. You can recharge these hand warmers with a USB or a wall charger.

15. If your friend is a cat person…or just a cat…they’ll love this heated cat bed.

16. It’s hard to go wrong with a Snuggie, though.

17. A heated jacket might sound extreme, but not to those who are chronically cold.

18. A heavy-duty thermos is sure to make any cold-blooded person happy. Chicken noodle soup, Irish coffee, you name it. This will keep it warm.

19. Never underestimate how happy a heated blanket can make a chilly human.

20. This personal heater is adorable, since it’s six inches tall.

21. Does your secret Santa recipient love music, but always opt for earmuffs in the winter? Give them the best of both worlds.

(via Simplemost)

This should be a great start to your holiday brainstorming. And hey…who says you can’t buy yourself a nice warm gift, too?

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Does This New Toy Craze Actually Have Something To It? Some Psychologists Say Yes

So many people find themselves distracted and unsure what to do with their hands.

Whether it’s sitting all day at work or trying to focus during a lecture, the fact is that sitting completely still doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why some teachers have caught on to the fact that just because a student may be drawing or fidgeting that doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention.

It’s also why fidget toys have exploded recently. Fidget cubes and spinners have skyrocketed to the top-selling lists, and in some cases, they’ve become so prevalent that they’re being banned for being a distraction. But do fidget toys live up to the hype?

Research shows that people need different levels of stimulation in order to focus. That’s why some people must work in complete silence while others need music. It’s also why some may find fidget items helpful while others may not.

Kids who have attention issues or anxiety may find fidget toys help them in classrooms. In fact, therapists have been using various items like this for a long time, they just haven’t been so flashy or popular.

Banning the spinners from classrooms might still be the right move despite their usefulness because the movement can be genuinely distracting. But where does that leave kids who need to fidget to function?

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This 20 Year Old Girl Suffers From Extreme Anxiety. That’s Why This Left Me Totally Speechless.

Anna Clendening was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and she regularly suffers from panic attacks. She’s only 20 years old, but her musical talent is brilliant. She fought through her personal problems and left judges absolutely stunned on this past season of America’s Got Talent. If you didn’t see this rendition of Hallelujah, check it out.

Share this amazing performance with others below. Anna’s truly inspiring with her ability to overcome.

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Jimmy Fallon, Obama fan boy!/jimmyfallon/status/194774035333259264

Jimmy Fallon, all atwitter and getting ready to scrawl madly in his diary. The One will be here!

Here we go! #ObamaOnFallon

— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) April 24, 2012

Capping off the teenage fan boy swooning?

The President has left the building. This has been one of the most exciting things I've ever done. #ObamaOnFallon

— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) April 24, 2012

Oh dear. Get a room. We’d venture a guess that he didn’t play “Lyin’ Ass Bitch’ as President Obama’s intro music.

Maybe it was “Pour some sugar on me” or The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”?


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Songs you must listen to this week

‘Maayaavi Penne’ Bayam Oru Payanam (Tamil) Music: Y. R. Prasad Call it coincidence but there’s a lot of name repetition in the crew list of Bayam Oru Payanam. The film’s director is Manisharm

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Piano concert in Madurai

On the auspicious Ganesh chaturthi evening last Monday, melodious strains of music flowed out of Noyes School. Tapping rhythms tumbled across the piano keyboard as an appreciative audience sat in rap

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People Keep Saying That Alexa Stopped This Assault, But That May Not Be The Case

Technology is becoming smarter and smarter, and it’s around us 24/7.

While this sort of sounds like the plot to a movie about robots taking over the world, the fact is that technology has made our lives easier, and oftentimes, it makes us safer. Amazon’s Echo speaker with voice-activated software called Alexa is one example of an item that’s becoming more and more common in homes. The Echo can order items from Amazon, search news and music, order a pizza, and do much, much more. One sheriff’s office says that Alexa may have even helped during a domestic violence incident, but Amazon is saying that’s a little far-fetched.

New Mexico’s Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department reported that Alexa picked up on a voice command that prompted her to call 9-1-1 as a woman was being threatened by Eduardo Barros, who had a firearm.

Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III initially praised the device’s usefulness during this terrifying crime. “The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life,” he said. “This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation.”

Amazon, however, has now spoken out about the incident, saying that Alexa does not have the capability to call 9-1-1.

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The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office says they were working off of victim statements when they said Alexa called them, but that regardless of who made the call, they’re glad they were able to get there to help.

(via Huffington Post)

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The Waveforms Of The Music Itself

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