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Tidal CEO out, as music streaming service struggles

More turbulent times for Tidal, as it jettisons its latest CEO after just three months on the job.

The high-definition music streaming site was purchased for $56 million back in March by hip-hop mogul Jay Z and became a private company.

Hip Hop icon Jay Z is re-launching his music ... 01:25

The revamped subscription service, originally based in Norway, was then unveiled to the public in New York at a March event -- with a team of all-star recording artists, who were introduced as equity shareholders, to announce what one of them called "a moment that will forever change the course of music history."

Soon afterwards it was announced that CEO Andy Chen was leaving the company; to be replaced by Peter Tonstad, a former CEO of Tidal's parent company Aspiro Group, as interim chief executive.

A company statement at the time said Tonstad "has a better understanding of the industry and a clear vision for how the company is looking to change the status quo."

But on Tuesday Tonstad confirmed to a Norwegian news site that he was leaving the company.

Jay-Z's new streaming service Tidal has had a... 08:10

Despite its high-profile re-launch, Tidal has been struggling to find a customer base. Last month, company CIO Vania Schlogel told CBSN that Tidal was "doing fine" and had about 800,000 subscribers.

But that 800,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to rival music streaming service Spotify, which reportedly has 20 million paid subscribers, as well as another 55 million people who use its free streaming service. And Apple (AAPL) is launching its own monthly music subscription service, Apple Music, next week.

At the same time, some recording artists and critics say Tidal has been tone-deaf to the realities of a rapidly evolving music industry, and to the struggles of non-superstar musicians.

"What I'm not into is the tribalistic aspect of it -- people trying to corner bits of the market, and put their face on it," Marcus Mumford of the British band Mumford & Sons told The Daily Beast back in April.

"We just want to play music, and I don't want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal, or whatever," he added. "We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they're not up for paying for it, I don't really care."

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