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TIDAL lays off 40 employees worldwide in move "away from music"

A leaked Slack conversation reveals that jobs in Europe plus North and South America were cut

  • Tibor Heskett
  • 8 December 2023
TIDAL lays off 40 employees worldwide in move "away from music"

Resident Advisor has revealed that the music streaming platform TIDAL has laid off 40 members of its worldwide staff.

A Slack conversation leaked to RA details how staff in Brazil, Germany, Poland, Spain Norway and the US were laid off. The messages also point towards a strategy document which outlines a product-centric approach to the company's content creation, with the idea being to eliminate a "substantial amount of our current work while adding some exciting new projects."

Read this next: Spotify to layoff 1,500 staff in order to "cut costs"

This, according to RA's TIDAL source, signifies the streaming platform's shift to pushing "tech initiatives instead of anything related to music, labels, distributors or artists."

Jeff Benjamin, one of TIDAL's music journalists, revealed on Twitter that he had been one of those affected by the company's dismissals.

As Benjamin says above, TIDAL's 40 job cuts are part of a wider strategy from parent fin-tech company Block-now, also known as Square, which announced last month that it would be laying off 10% of its staff, putting around 1,300 members of staff out of work. The Jack Dorsey-owned multinational conglomerate had acquired TIDAL from rap icon Jay-Z for $297 million in 2021.

Read this next: Half of Bandcamp's staff let go following Songtradr acquisition

The Twitter founder's company are clearly not acting alone, with jobs cuts at Bandcamp announced as part of company-wide dismissals by new acquirer, music licensing service Songtradr. Similarly to TIDAL, the editorial team at Bandcamp were one of the areas of the company most affected, with Bandcamp's senior editor taking to Twitter to express their dismay.

Earlier this week, CEO Daniel Ek stated that Spotify too would be making the "difficult decision" to let go staff in a letter to its employees, with 17% of its workforce, amounting to 1,500 jobs globally, cut from the payroll.

Ek cited the need to "cut costs" amidst a global economy where growth is slowing and "the gap between our financial goal state and our operational costs" is too wide.

Tibor Heskett is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

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