The troubled celebrity-backed music-streaming website Tidal has lost another CEO: Norwegian Peter Tonstad has quit after just three months in the job.
Tonstad had replaced his former boss Andy Chen in April. One month before that, Tidal's parent company, Aspiro, was bought by a consortium of musicians fronted by rapper Jay Z for $56m.
Chen ejected from the biz after the music service was heavily promoted by celebs in a much-derided New York relaunch, which sparked huge publicity for the service that has still failed to attract enough new subscribers to challenge the market leaders.
The company said very little about Tonstad's leaving, other than simply stating: "We are thankful to Peter for stepping in as interim CEO and wish him the best for the future."
Things were different just a few months ago when Tonstad stepped into the role: "He has a better understanding of the industry and a clear vision for how the company is looking to change the status quo," a statement said at the time. "He's streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience."
The company doesn't have a replacement head yet and the company will be run by executives based both in New York and Aspiro's headquarters in Norway.
Tidal's pitch to customers is that it will pay higher royalty fees to artists: a tactic that backfired somewhat when the relaunch in March extensively featured many of the music world's richest artists including Madonna, Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys and Jack White, all of whom are investors in the service.
Unsurprisingly, watching multimillionaires complain about the money they were receiving did not force millions of people to immediately cancel their Spotify subscriptions and pay double for access to fewer songs.
Tidal claims it has 770,000 subscribers paying $19.99 a month. This compares to Spotify's 20 million paying $9.99 a month. Then of course there was this month's Apple announcement that it would launch a new music-streaming service on 30 June. And this week, Google also announced it was getting into the game with a free ad-supported streaming service.
It looks as though the tide is going out on the Jay Z-led service. ®