Jay Z’s Tidal announces new CEO-Jeff Toig

Is TIDAL making the right moves?


With SoundCloud’s former Chief Business Officer Jeff Toig as the new CEO of TIDAL, the company looks to advance in a highly competitive market.

Since Jay-Z took over the company, it has had difficulty keeping a CEO to lead, which has impeded the company’s growth into something more sensational.

TIDAL is a new addition to the music streaming industry. Much like Spotify, Pandora and other services, it offers music and playlists based on moods, activities and genres. The company has recently made Jeff Toig, former chief business officer of SoundCloud, its CEO in the hopes of becoming a stronger company.

What makes TIDAL stand out is its quality of sound and amount of music content.

Subscribers to TIDAL can expect artist and musician interviews, among other nuanced media access not given on other platforms.

With one million subscribers, TIDAL offers an ample amount of exclusive content and show access, including the recent TIDAL 10/20 concert.

The platform seeks to offer both artist loyalty and customer loyalty by paying artists 75 percent of it’s revenue, as well as those involved in the musical process, like artists and labels, while also giving subscribers something special, according to a tweet by Jay Z.

“For a company to want to give more back to an artist money-wise is great and it might mean well, however it will be fascinating to see if this will plan out the way they want it to plan out in this competitive music-streaming,” said [S61] , a senior civil engineer major. “I think at the cost of a TIDAL subscription right now they will need to offer something with value.”

While many do not believe it will last long in the music streaming industry, Toig believes he could transform TIDAL into a strong and unique music streaming service.

Earlier in his career, Toig co-founded a music streaming service called Muve Music, a platform attached to the plans of 2.5 million Cricket Wireless customers.

Toig said that he believes a strategy based on handling costs and being different from the bigger music streaming services is what will work.

This includes some of the things TIDAL has already been doing, including the promotion of TIDAL events and concerts, exclusive live streaming of shows and meet and greets for subscribers.

These exclusivities were embraced by Coldplay, who streamed songs from their new album a month before the release. Rihanna invited 80 Tidal subscribers to her video-premiere party this summer and giving all Tidal subscribers pre-sale access to her coming tour, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the university community, a common consensus seems to be that TIDAL’s unpopularity is because it lacks a free subscription.

“They will need to have something to differentiate themselves to the people that they are targeting. They need brand loyalty from both the consumer and the artist, but more so the consumer,” said Pietrantoni. “Perhaps, their artists will be fine working at these TIDAL events but will money ever become an issue for these artists? We will have to see.”

Take Pandora for instance. This music streaming service offers listeners a free subscription accompanied by advertisements.

While this may be a pain for some, to get interrupted mid-listen, others find it affordable and enjoy how easy it is to listen.

“I’m not really sure what TIDAL is,” said Anita Levine, a junior accounting major. Levine is a YouTube and Pandora user who uses her free subscription for streaming to jump from genre to genre throughout the day.

A good amount of people don’t even know what TIDAL is and without their use of advertisements, they fail to accomplish a branding.

“I predominantly listen to Spotify. Although the 30-second ads are reoccurring, I'm overall satisfied with it,” said Giselle Santiago, a junior business major. “I really enjoy how specific the genres are within a certain category, so I can chose to only listen to bachata within the Latin section.”

With TIDAL being among so many music-streaming platforms available for consumption, do the features of Jay-Z’s nuanced music streaming platform peak your musical curiosity?

Giovanni Gaglianese is an arts staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com