The Wall Street Journal has reported that the interim CEO of Jay Z's music streaming service, Tidal, has been let go after just three months on the job. Tonstad joined in April after former CEO Andy Chen left the company.
This is more surprising news for Tidal, which has been criticized since its launch at the end of March. Privately owned by Jay Z and other artists (including the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Rihanna, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Jack White, and Chris Martin), Tidal was relaunched as a new kind of music streaming service that would provide its users with a robust music library and exclusive artist content at a premium (through a paid subscription-only model). This strategy, however, has received criticism since inception – to the extent at which Jay Z himself went on a Twitter rampage in April to defend the model.
Tonstad had previously served as CEO of the Aspiro Group – Tidal's parent company – since 2010, which makes his departure especially shocking. If someone so closely affiliated and familiar with the company quits, it puts into question the kind of culture and environment that's going on at Tidal. The company has not announced a replacement in the interim.