Chen leaves the company to be replaced by Tonstad. Rumors that 25 staff have been fired are counterd by the company, which says they are “redundancies” and “streamlining” Company:
TIDAL’s new interum [sic] CEO is Peter Tonstad – a former CEO of parent company Aspiro Group. He has a better understanding of the industry and a clear vision for how the company is looking to change the status quo. He’s streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience. We’ve eliminated a handful of positions and refocused our company-wide talent to address departments that need support and cut redundancies. TIDAL’s offices globally will remain and grow: we are already hirinig [sic] for several new positions now. We’re excited about our future and what’s in-store for fans who want the best listening experience.
I believe in TIDAL and what the team is doing to affect the change the music industry needs. We’re streamlining the company and refocusing our resources to ensure the platform continues to grow, and listeners can make a connection to their favorite artists. No one else is doing this.
Jay-Z wins control of Aspiro after more than 90% of shareholders accepted the star’s $54m offer. A spokesman for Project Panther Bidco, says all the conditions for completing the acquisition have now been met. The offer is declared unconditional on Friday and Aspiro will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.
Aspiro had 500,000 paying users for its streaming services at the end of 2014, which includes 35,000 subscribers for its “lossless” HiFi-quality music service that is available in the UK under the Tidal brand, a service that costs £19.99 a month – double the price of Spotify in the UK. The company had posted a net loss of $5m for the last three months of 2014, and admitted that it could run out of money at some point this year. The company plans to launch Tidal in 22 countries, mostly in Europe, by the end of March.
Jay Z, though his company, Project Panther, will buy Aspiro, a Swedish music streaming service WiMP for 464 million Swedish crowns ($56 million) in cash. Shares in Aspiro leap 59 percent in early trading, to the bid level of 1.05 crowns per share. Norwegian media house Schibsted, Aspiro’s main shareholder, says it had accepted the offer, while Aspiro’s board said it is united in recommending the bid, virtually ensuring its success. Project Panther:
Panther believes that the recent developments in the entertainment industry, with the migration to music and media streaming, offers great potential for increased entertainment consumption and an opportunity for artists to further promote their music. Panther’s strategic ambition revolves around global expansion and up-scaling of Aspiro’s platform, technology and services.