Is Jay Z’s ‘Tidal’ A Flop That Is Sinking After Just Two Weeks?

Jay Z launched Tidal, a new streaming service, just over two weeks ago amidst much fanfare. After less than a month, it has emerged that the CEO of Tidal has parted ways with Jay Z’s company, and it seems that high profile artists are getting in line to slam Tidal. The Independent report that Tidal have released a statement announcing that Tidal CEO Andy Chen was departing the company with immediate effect.

Chen will be replaced in the short term by Peter Tonstad, a former CEO of Tidal’s parent company, Aspiro Group. The announcement claimed that Tonstad has a better understanding of Tidal’s business sector and also sought to explain why Tidal already appears to be shedding staff.

“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.”

The statement denied that Tidal was shedding staff through redundancies, stating instead that they were “streamlining” the business.

“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.”

The Guardian reports that Tidal’s new CEO released his own statement on Tidal’s lossless streaming service, saying that he believed in Tidal and was confident that the company would succeed.

“We’re streamlining the company and refocusing our resources to ensure the platform continues to grow, and listeners can make a connection to their favorite artists. No one else is doing this”

Jay Z’s new “Hi-Fi lossless streaming service” was launched in New York on March 31 amongst a barrage of hype and with the backing of an “A” list of big name and successful musicians, including Beyonce, Kanye West, Madonna, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. The aim of Tidal is to challenge the dominance of rival services like Spotify and Apple by providing CD quality sound and features not available elsewhere. The rub is that Tidal charges twice as much as its rivals.

Many artists, including Mumford and Sons, Lily Allen, and Death Cab For Cutie, have criticized Jay Z and Tidal, saying that the new service works for artists who are already worth millions but that Tidal does nothing to support new or emerging artists.

Jay Z has explained that Tidal aims to boost profits for songwriters, giving value to the creatives who’ve helped to create an album and has claimed that Tidal will give shares to other artists. It remains to be seen whether Jay Z’s Tidal service is in trouble or if the company is simply streaming its business model as it learns how subscribers are reacting.

[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]