Jay Z's Tidal streaming music service has suffered another blow with the resignation of Vania Schlogel. The CIO had been the public face of the company since its March relaunch, following the loss of other top executives.
The streaming music service has had a rocky road since it was reintroduced with much fanfare this past April. Tidal was heralded at the time as a higher quality streamer owned and run by artists, and a huge parade of celebrity partners was announced, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Madonna, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Chris Martin, deadmau5 and Drake.
Consumers didn't warm to the service, however - with reports indicating that subscriptions were not being purchased at the expected rate. The $20 higher-quality version of the service costs double the amount of other streamers and listeners didn't seem willing to pay for the improved audio experience the company is offering.
In June, Tidal's CEO Peter Tonstad resigned, and rumors soon started swirling that Jay Z was planning his exit strategy. Last month, Jay Z announced that Tidal has reached one million subscribers and held a celebration concert featuring superstars like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and of course, Jay Z himself, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Below the surface, however, one million isn't really all that much. Jay Z had boasted in April that "Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month." The math shows that since then, Tidal has only added a little over 200,000 subscribers. While Tidal was never expected to quickly meet the levels of its biggest competitors like Spotify and Pandora, amassing 770,000 subs in less than a month and then adding only 230,000 in the next six months can't be considered an impressive growth rate.
The instability within the company's executive ranks has to be a factor in the company's performance. Before Tonstad resigned in June, previous CEO Andy Chen was fired. Now with the departure of Schlogel, it appears that Tidal has drifted off-course. With strong competitors like Spotify and Pandora already established, as well as new entries Apple Music and YouTube Red joining the fray, it remains to be seen whether the company can survive.