The former public face of Tidal has confirmed she is no longer working for the music service. Vania Schlogel, the one-time chief investment officer of Jay Z’s company Roc Nation and a veteran investment banker, told the New York Times Monday that she left Tidal very quietly over the summer, just a few months after helping to present it to American audiences. Her LinkedIn profile still lists Tidal as her current employer, however.
“I wish Tidal nothing but the best and am proud of the dialogue it has catalyzed to date,” Schlogel wrote in a statement to the Times. “I hold the highest degree of respect for each of the artists who have advocated for this dialogue and who display a genuine care for the industry.”
In the first few weeks following Tidal's bumpy launch event in New York on March 30, it was Schlogel, rather than Jay Z or any of the service’s other high-profile owners, who defended the service most vigorously during public appearances. At a Q&A session held behind closed doors at New York University’s Clive Davis School of Music, Schlogel called the work she was doing with Tidal a “life project,” and she was the one who gave the most pointed replies to critics who called Tidal too expensive, its owners too entitled and its business prospects poor.
“We've somehow come to believe that it's OK to pay hundreds for consumer electronics but to pay nothing for the music that helps sell it,” Schlogel told the sold-out student audience.
But just as quickly as Tidal burst onto the scene, Schlogel appeared to vanish. She canceled appearances at a number of industry conferences, and for most of the summer Tidal kept its hatches battened, declining or refusing to respond to press requests for comment from her and the rest of its executives.
That silence ended at the beginning of the fall, when Tidal began reaching out to press to tout the fact that it had amassed 1 million paying subscribers. Those announcements did not include Schlogel, who had apparently already left.
While Tidal's senior executives are bullish on their prospects, thanks to a successful benefit concert and a growing number of integrations with high-end speaker and headphone brands, it will be vying for customers in an increasingly crowded market of on-demand streaming music services. Perhaps its most prominent competitor, Spotify, says it is on pace to have 100 million paying subscribers by the end of 2015, and its most deep-pocketed rival, Apple Music, managed to add 6.5 million subscribers in just three months.