Streaming service struggling to attract users in both US and UK
Tidal, the music streaming service co-owned by Jay Z, has slipped out of the iPhone top 700 download chart in the US.
One month after launching, the app has proven unpopular with users. In contrast, rivals Pandora and Spotify are currently at Number Seven and 23 respectively. Things are not much better in the UK either, with TechRadar confirming that Tidal is not in the top 500 of the iOS and Google Play Store charts.
Tidal launched last month (March 30), with the likes of Kanye West, Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Daft Punk and more all attending the launch and signing an official Tidal charter, making them co-owners.
It was recently revealed that Jay Z was personally calling new subscribers to the service, as too was Jack White. The company also parted ways with its chief executive, Andy Chen. Chen was the CEO of Tidal’s parent company Aspiro when it was purchased by Jay Z in March. He has been replaced by former CEO Peter Tonstad.
Jay Z has claimed that the platform will be more beneficial for artists, but many have voiced their criticism of the company’s royalty structure since its initial launch.
Steve Albini called Tidal a “budget version of Pono”, Neil Young’s high-definition music player while Death Cab For Cutie‘s frontman Ben Gibbard complained that the launch event “was a wonderful opportunity squandered” and instead of highlighting emerging or struggling musicians, saw a “bunch of millionaires and billionaires” onstage “complaining about not being paid”.
Gibbard’s comments echo that of Mumford & Sons, who recently said that they “wouldn’t have joined [Tidal] even if they had asked” due its bias towards popular artists.
Lily Allen also criticised Tidal. Allen said earlier in April: “I love Jay Z so much, but Tidal is [so] expensive compared to other perfectly good streaming services… He’s taken the biggest artists and made them exclusive to Tidal… people are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves sending traffic to torrent sites.”