Jay Z’s music streaming service, Tidal, has had a rocky few months since he bought it for $US56 millionin March.
For Tidal, traction has been hard to come by. And now some 71% of top music executives have lost faith in the streaming service, saying they believe the company will fold in a year or less,
The company’s valuation spiked to a reported $US250 just a month after Jay Z acquired it, but his efforts to brand it as an artists’ platform seem to have largely failed to move the public.
An impressive roster of artists has joined Jay Z in supporting Tidal, including big names like Coldplay, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Madonna, Usher, and Rihanna. But having blockbuster artists on your side doesn’t mean you are friendly those who aren’t superstars — or can convince people that you are.
Adding to Jay Z’s woes has been the public’s seeming apathy toward Tidal’s original prime selling point: high-fidelity audio. The $US20 per month subscription has been regarded as too expensive for many customers, and its (“normal”) $US10 per month service faces heavy competition from Spotify and Apple Music.
Billboard anonymously polled more than 50 top music executives on their outlook on Tidal, and a devastating 71% thought the company would fail within a year. Another 17% thought it would survive for one to two years, and only 12% thought it would be part of the industry for the long haul.
Tidal has seen a string of high-profile departures since it was acquired. Andy Chen, the CEO who oversaw the acquisition, left a few weeks after it was sold, and his replacement, Peter Tonstad, only lasted until June. More recently, Tidal’s US sales and marketing manager, David Solomon, and senior vice president of label and artist relations, Zena Burns, both quit. Burns left after just two months at the company.
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