Since Jay-Z bought Tidal for a record $56 million early this year, the company has endured non-stop executive instability. Tidal’s management turnover has now become more extensive with Vania Schlogel’s departure.
This is the second major executive to step down from Tidal in the last six months, after interim CEO Peter Tonstad — who replaced fired CEO Andy Chen — resigned in June. Although Schlogel’s title was chief investment officer, she exerted significantly more influence over the company, and has been the public face of Tidal since its re-launch in March. This makes Schlogel’s resignation a major loss for the streaming service.
Tidal has been under harsh criticism and skepticism since it was re-launched, so with such drastic executive moves of key figures in the company like Schlogel and other company representatives that resigned, there is no wonder people are talking. Such bold moves, could slow down company growth, at what should be a crucial time for Tidal to be growing and keeping up with its competitors.
However, amongst all the change and despite these major executive shuffles, Tidal has experienced some success lately. In September, Jay Z announced the service had one million subscribers, which was celebrated with a charity event held in Brooklyn, NY. The jury is still out on whether this is enough to compete with its competitors.
To make matters worse, YouTube has just expanded its subscription-based Red with a music-focused app that eliminates ads and allows music to be played offline. Red is priced at $10 a month, which makes it difficult for Tidal to compete. Currently, Tidal’s subscription costs are high: $9.99 for standard streaming and $19.99 for high-quality audio streaming. Tidal does not offer a free tier outside of a limited preview.
As for the competition, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify seem to be focusing their efforts on exclusive features and benefits. If Jay Z wants Tidal to compete, he’ll need a stable team of executives to drive new innovative ideas.