Jay Z Leapfrogs Dr. Dre & Nearly Catches Diddy With $810M on the Race to $1B

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 660 Views 0 Comments
Jay Z Leapfrogs Dr. Dre & Nearly Catches Diddy With $810M on the Race to $1B

Every year since 2011, FORBES has ranked the wealthiest hip-hop acts on the planet in terms of net worth, and each time, Sean “Diddy” Combs has comfortably claimed the crown.

This year, Diddy is first on our Forbes Five list yet again, but the margin is slimmer than ever. His $820 million total—accumulated with the help of his lucrative deal with Diageo’s Ciroc, as well as huge stakes in TV network Revolt, alkaline water brand Aquahydrate and tequila DeLeon—is just a smidge ahead of Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, who ranks second with $810 million.

Sprint’s $200 million January investment in Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service reportedly valued the platform at $600 million, more than ten times what Jay Z paid for it two years ago. His remaining stake’s surge in value, continued growth from his Roc Nation entertainment company and Armand de Brignac champagne, helped vault him into shouting distance of the top spot.

“Together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience,” Jay Z said in a statement earlier this year.

That sort of attitude offers a clue toward future plans for Tidal, which could one day be the asset that tips Jay Z into billionaire territory–ahead of Dre and perhaps even Diddy. As I noted in January, Sprint’s investment probably wasn’t the end of the wheeling and dealing for the streaming service.

Attached to Sprint’s massive customer base, Tidal suddenly seems much more appealing to tech giants as they look to bolster their streaming offerings. Adding a built-in audience of 45 million-plus could be compelling for Apple as it looks to catch up to Spotify, or perhaps Google or Amazon, as both behemoths try to make a true splash in the space.

It’s still not totally clear how one ought to classify those 45 million customers. They’re not exactly free subscribers, but they don’t pay $9.99 per month for Tidal, either. That might make it tricky to place new valuations on Jay Z’s service as time goes on. But, as Dre learned in 2014, all it takes is one huge company to make the plunge–and rearrange the ranks of hip-hop’s wealthiest overnight.


Jay Z has plenty of other paths to ten-figure territory. He recently unveiled plans for a new venture fund together with Roc Nation partner Jay Brown and FORBES cover star Shervin Pishevar’s Sherpa Capital–as well as a startup incubator called Arrive, together with Brown, Primary Venture Partners and GlassBridge Asset Management. It’s quite possible that his next big haul could emerge from there.

In the meantime, it’s worth remembering what Jay Z said two years ago at Tidal’s launch:

“Right now they’re writing the story for us … we need to write the story for ourselves.”

And that, it seems, is exactly what he’s doing. -Source

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