Tidal, Jay Z’s premium music streamer, has had its struggles since relaunching in March, including a revolving door at the top executive spot. After a third change at CEO in just over six months, the company is hoping a former Soundcloud exec can lead the fledgling streamer to become a more significant player in the streaming music realm.
Tidal has announced that Jeff Toig — whose resume includes a stint as chief business officer at Soundcloud, and a founding role in Cricket Wireless’ streamer Muve Music — will become CEO at Tidal in January.
Toig explained to Billboard that he took the CEO post (which had been vacant since June) for three reasons: “deep connection with A-list artists,” the fact that “Jay and the artists behind the company are committed to developing an amazing experience for fans,” and “momentum.” Further explaining his last point, Toig referenced the fact that the company has already grown to over a million subscribers, though he notably failed to mention that around half of those were already paying subscribers before Jay Z took over.
While the Harvard Business School grad joined because he saw growth potential, he’ll have his hands full competing with Apple Music and Spotify. The latter, which has amassed 20 million paid subscribers since its launch (and 55 million using its free ad-supported platform), is the bigger and more well-established streamer of the three. Apple Music has picked up 6.5 million paid subscribers since its June 30 launch. Both Apple Music and Spotify cost $10 per month, while Tidal costs $20 per month for its hi-fidelity streaming service, and $10 per month for its standard service.
To say Tidal’s had some trouble in its short lifespan is an understatement. Its star-studded launch in March was endlessly mocked. Two CEOs — Andy Chen and Peter Tonstad — have come and gone. Jay Z himself went on the defensive on Twitter, and was rumored to leave the company at least once.
But apparently Jay Z is all-in again, and Toig is ready for the challenge. We’re not sure if the new CEO can revive Tidal, but it’ll certainly be interesting to watch.