Despite a star-studded debut and even phone calls from Jay Z himself, streaming media service TIDAL has experienced industry backlash from a handful of artists. Recently the company also faced rumors of internal shakeups. Friday, Swedish news site Breakit cited unnamed sources while reporting the company’s CEO Andy Chen was fired along with 25 employees. The Breakit report was later updated with an official statement from TIDAL confirming Chen’s departure and calling reports of the dismissed staffers and Chen being fired incorrect. The statement provided courtesy of Breakit and translated by Business Insider, reads as follows:
“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 hirinig for several new positions now. We’re excited about our future and what’s in-store for fans who want the best listening experience.”
Jay Z purchased TIDAL in January with a $56 million bid. The site re-launched in late March with a press conference and media blitz featuring Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Madonna, and others. Since its debut, TIDAL has released exclusive content from Rihanna, Jay Z, Beyonce, and Erykah Badu.
You can read a full recap of Business Insider’s translation from Breakit’s initial reporting (written in Swedish) at their website.