Tidal loses interim CEO Peter Tonstad on eve of Apple Music launch

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
On-demand, Jay Z-backed music service Tidal on Tuesday announced the departure of interim CEO Peter Tonstad, marking the second CEO departure for the struggling service since April.




The company offered few other details, according to Bloomberg. It did say, however, that until a replacement is found, executives in New York and Oslo will assume necessary responsibilities.

Tonstad took over the CEO position in April after the departure of Andy Chen.

Tidal has undergone significant turbulence in the past year. In January the service's creator, Aspiro, was bought by rapper Jay-Z for $56 million. The platform relaunched in March, promising advantages over Spotify like exclusives, a high-fidelity tier, and superior artist royalties, but has often been derided in the press and made little headway in attracting subscribers.

After Spotify its greatest challenge will likely be Apple Music, which is launching on June 30. While Apple Music streams will top out at just 256 kilobits per second, default inclusion in iTunes and iOS 8.4 will likely give Apple an automatic competitive advantage.

Some artists and labels were initially angered by Apple Music's royalty terms. Though the service should ultimately pay better than Spotify, Apple at first planned to skip paying any money from streams during a listener's three-month free trial.

The company suddenly reversed course on Sunday following an open letter by pop musician Taylor Swift. Rights holders will now receive a per-stream fee for trial listeners, switching over to a percentage of revenue if and when someone becomes a paid subscriber.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Place your bets, folks. Does Tidal make it through the end of next year? I'm betting they don't.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post



    DOA.



    Jay-Z just lost $56 million.



    Good thing is he can use it as a tax deduction on his wives income.



    How many does he have? ;)

  • Reply 3 of 21
    bcodebcode Posts: 138member
    Again with the "just 256 kilobits per second" nonsense...

    Apple uses AAC to stream audio, everyone else uses MP3. Apple Music's 256k AAC playback is higher quality than the 320k MP3 format that competitors are using -- and on top of sounding better, AAC also has the added bonus of smaller file sizes.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    They built what they wanted.

     

    They didn't build what a lot of people were willing to pay or use.

     

    Listen to your customer. They are right always, even when they are wrong...

  • Reply 5 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Place your bets, folks. Does Tidal make it through the end of next year? I'm betting they don't.

     

    End of next year? I'm betting they don't survive to the end of the Apple Music 90 day free trial.

  • Reply 6 of 21
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    pfisher wrote: »
    They built what they wanted.

    They didn't build what a lot of people were willing to pay or use.

    Listen to your customer. They are right always, even when they are wrong...

    Actually Steve always said never listen to the customer they never know what they want.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    I really do not feel bad for someone Like Jay-Z buying into a technology company and having no clue. This is a perfect example of more money than brains. First clue beats was bought for $3B and these idiots sold for $56M if what they had was so good why did they sell so low.

    I hope Jay-Z was at least smart enough to use someone else's money.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post



    I really do not feel bad so someone Like Jay-Z buying into a technology company and having no clue. This is a perfect example of more money than brains. First clue beats was bought for $3B and these idiots sold for $56M if what they had was so good why did they sell so low.



    I hope Jay-Z was at least smart enough to use someone else's money.



    I assume his "investors" were those very musicians who all very publicly signed on with him earlier.

  • Reply 9 of 21
    maestro64 wrote: »
    I really do not feel bad for someone Like Jay-Z buying into a technology company and having no clue. This is a perfect example of more money than brains. First clue beats was bought for $3B and these idiots sold for $56M if what they had was so good why did they sell so low.

    I hope Jay-Z was at least smart enough to use someone else's money.

    Wasnt like 2.6 billion of the Beats price for the hardware side of the company?
  • Reply 10 of 21
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post



    They built what they wanted.



    They didn't build what a lot of people were willing to pay or use.



    Listen to your customer. They are right always, even when they are wrong...




    Actually Steve always said never listen to the customer they never know what they want.



    Need to put that into context. You can design things that you know people will want when they don't know it yet.

     

    It seems Tidal group didn't do this. They made something too expensive. They didn't meet the above criteria.

  • Reply 11 of 21
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I foresee a huge tidal!!

    Abandon ship!!
  • Reply 12 of 21
    rwesrwes Posts: 167member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post





    Actually Steve always said never listen to the customer they never know what they want.

     

    I thought Steve Jobs said something along the lines of, -listen to your customers problems, but not for said problems' solutions- ?

     

    "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." Steve Jobs

     

    "Customer feedback is great for telling you what you did wrong. It's terrible at telling you what you should do next." Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, Not sure if he made that comment before or after Steve Jobs

     

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140619163106-56883908-why-steve-jobs-never-listened-to-his-customershttp://www.helpscout.net/blog/why-steve-jobs-never-listened-to-his-customers/

  • Reply 13 of 21
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    bcode wrote: »
    Again with the "just 256 kilobits per second" nonsense...

    Apple uses AAC to stream audio, everyone else uses MP3. Apple Music%u2019s 256k AAC playback is higher quality than the 320k MP3 format that competitors are using -- and on top of sounding better, AAC also has the added bonus of smaller file sizes.

    Sure, but Tidal also offers 1411kbps, 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC and ALAC streams from their $19.99 month Tidal HiFi service. That makes a mention of bitrate, codec, and codec type understandable when discussing Tidal; although AI didn't really do any of that justice in the article by only stating "a high-fidelity tier" in one paragraph before mentioning Apple's bitrate in another paragraph.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    bcodebcode Posts: 138member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Sure, but Tidal also offers 1411kbps, 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC and ALAC streams from their $19.99 month Tidal HiFi service. That makes a mention of bitrate, codec, and codec type understandable when discussing Tidal; although AI didn't really do any of that justice in the article by only stating "a high-fidelity tier" in one paragraph before mentioning Apple's bitrate in another paragraph.



    Dang...  I wasn't sure of the Tidal specs, definitely would have been nice to see them specifically stated in the article.

  • Reply 15 of 21
    @bcode

    Wrong. Tidal and Rdio stream AAC files, but at higher bitrates than Apple Music will. Apple's price is the same as both for the same tier service (you can, of course, opt for Tidal's lossless tier if you have really good gear), but they are offering poorer sound quality than these two competitors if not others.

    To my ears, even their own Beats Music 320 kbps MP3 streams sound much better than iTunes Plus.

    Why stint on sound quality? A bad move from my favourite tech company.
  • Reply 16 of 21



    Wrong. Rdio & Tidal both stream AAC files. To my ears, even their own Beats Music 320 kbps MP3 streams sound much better than iTunes Plus.

     

    Why stint on sound quality? A bad move from my favourite tech company.

  • Reply 17 of 21
    chadmaticchadmatic Posts: 285member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

     

    Listen to your customer. They are right always, even when they are wrong...


    Not according to Steve Jobs.

  • Reply 18 of 21
    chadmaticchadmatic Posts: 285member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

     

    End of next year? I'm betting they don't survive to the end of the Apple Music 90 day free trial.




    I'll take that bet.

  • Reply 19 of 21
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,334member
    Tidal's interim CEO was Pete Towns… oh wait, never mind.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    19831983 Posts: 1,183member
    bcode wrote: »
    Again with the "just 256 kilobits per second" nonsense...

    Apple uses AAC to stream audio, everyone else uses MP3. Apple Music's 256k AAC playback is higher quality than the 320k MP3 format that competitors are using -- and on top of sounding better, AAC also has the added bonus of smaller file sizes.
    I believe Tidal streams using AAC like Apple only at the higher bitrate of 320k, then there's the even higher quality lossless CD quality tier. I still think it's a shame Tidal are having such problems, the're a good service with great sound quality.
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