It’s barely been a month since TIDAL debuted and Jay Z‘s new streaming service is already experiencing some major waves in its administration. The music service, set to compete against Spotify, Rdio and Pandora, has reportedly laid-off/fired 26 of its employees, including its first CEO, Andy Chen.
When Jay purchased the Swedish music company Aspiro in March for $56 million, Andy Chen was named it’s CEO. But by April 17, Swedish news site Breakit was already reporting that Chen was leaving the company.
Well, that didn’t take long.
The day before, on April 16, Business Insider reported that twenty-five employees were fired or laid-off from TIDAL, which the brand currently denies as “incorrect.” Instead, they were choosing to label the departure of the employees as “redundancies” and as an effort in “streamlining” its workforce.
On behalf of the company, a statement was released on its state of management and operation and included was an introduction of its new CEO Peter Tonstad:
TIDAL’s new interum [sic] CEO is Peter Tonstad – a former CEO of parent company Aspiro Group. He has a better understanding of the industry and a clear vision for how the company is looking to change the status quo. He’s streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience. We’ve eliminated a handful of positions and refocused our company-wide talent to address departments that need support and cut redundancies. TIDAL’s offices globally will remain and grow: we are already hiring for several new positions now. We’re excited about our future and what’s in-store for fans who want the best listening experience.
Despite the high profile press conference for TIDAL that included reported celeb co-owners like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West, the service has been met with a lot of resistance of music listeners and buyers and musicians alike. Much of the criticism surrounds the promise of bringing a “lossless” sound to their subscribers, which many say is merely a gimmick. In addition, some say that the $19.99 asking price is just too much and that independent artists still suffer the most from not making as big a profit from streaming services.
The app has tried to sway subscribers by releasing exclusive-to-TIDAL content like Beyonce’s 7th wedding anniversary single “Die With You” and Rihanna‘s “American Oxygen” video. It’s also been reported that Jay Z and fellow artist & co-owner Jack White were personally calling up new subscribers to thank them for their joining and using the app.
They better get those phones ready because TIDAL is rapidly declining into a hot mess.
Have you signed up? Does this news make you even more skeptical? Let us know your thoughts.