Jay Z hosted a group of influential musicians at a private venue in February to talk about his plans for a pair of music streaming sites that he was trying to acquire, Showbiz411 reports.
Some of the most famous people in music came together for an all-day meeting just before the Grammy Awards last month.
Here’s who Showbiz411 claims was at the meeting:
- Jay Z
- Kanye West
- Daft Punk
- Nikki Minaj
- Jack White
- Chris Martin
- “At least two country music stars”
- Music executives
- Some assistants
Showbiz411 talked to someone who was at Jay Z’s secret music industry meeting, and they said that guests talked about the future of music, videos, artist rights, and commercialism.
Daft Punk apparently made the most persuasive argument during the meeting, but Kanye West was “out of control.” Showbiz411’s source said that Jay Z joked about being his “interpreter.”
The meeting was reportedly held at The Fig House in Los Angeles:
Jay Z has since completed his purchase of Aspiro, the Swedish company behind high-definition streaming sites WiMP and Tidal.
It wasn’t a completely smooth acquisition process. A group of minority shareholders, who collectively own 10% of the company, originally indicated that they would vote to reject Jay Z’s takeover bid. But they changed their decision shortly before the end of negotiations, and Jay Z’s acquisition was finalised on Wednesday.
Tidal, Aspiro’s biggest product, is available worldwide – and will probably remain the company’s focus. If Jay Z is talking to this celebrity friends about streaming, then he could get them involved in curating content for the platform.
But there’s a big new competitor entering the streaming world: Apple. Music industry sources tell us that Apple is relaunching iTunes with a focus on streaming. It’s using former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe as the head of the project, and reaching out to musicians to ask them to curate their own sections of the site.
We asked Aspiro CEO Andy Chen whether he’s worried about the threat from Apple:
My personal philosophy is that for anybody who has run a tech business, or is in a sector that’s highly competitive, I think what you do is, you will never end up building anything if you spend too much time just identifying the fears coming from the larger competitors. Apple is Apple. Apple is huge. Apple is going to do whatever Apple wants to do … We observe and look at what they want to do.