Tidal’s CEO Andy Chen Has Left Parent Company Aspiro
Aspiro CEO Andy Chen -- a key figure in the roll out of Jay Z’s streaming platform, Tidal -- has parted ways with the company. Former Aspiro CEO Peter Tonstad will take Chen’s place in the interim while the company searches for a replacement.
The news follows a reported 25 layoffs at the company’s Stockholm offices. A representative told Sweden’s Breakit that the layoffs were meant for “streamlining” staffing redundancies. Tidal offered this statement on its personnel changes:
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.
In the months leading up to last month’s press conference -- which revealed Jay Z, Beyonce and Jack White as only a few of the platform’s celebrity owners -- Chen helped market Tidal as the elite alternative to Spotify, offering users superior sound quality with a library of lossless sound files. Back in October, he told Verge, "This service is not for everybody. Spotify is for everybody."
Tidal has received criticism from artists and industry professionals alike. Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Mumford and Sons' Marcus Mumford criticized the platform for not considering indie artists in its launch. Likewise, Steve Albini called out Tidal for attempting to create “little streaming fiefdoms” by focusing its efforts on gathering exclusive content.