Jay-Z’s music streaming service, Tidal, is under investigation in Norway over accusations that the company feigned listener numbers. The range of the fake numbers could apparently include hundreds of millions of inaccurate plays of albums from major artists like Beyoncé and Kanye West.
Last May, Dagens Næringsliv assumed, off of internal data it attained from an unidentified source, that Tidal had deliberately forged streaming numbers for two albums — “The Life of Pablo” by Kanye West and “Lemonade” by Beyoncé, whose husband possesses majority of the music-streaming service — to enlarge royalties for those works and dupes other artists out of payments.
Tidal has frequently disclaimed the allegations, calling it a “smear campaign” and a “ridiculous story,” and the streaming service later started an internal investigation into a possible data leakage during its ranks, seeking for a worker who might have leaked and eventually tampered with the company’s streaming information. The newspaper stated on Monday that Norway’s authority for investigation of financial and environmental wrongdoings is in an “early stage” of looking into the accuses.
At least four previous Tidal workers have been held for questioning before a judge, who’s supervised more than 25 hours of examinations on the matter, according to DN. Tidal replied with the following statement on Monday, saying it proceeds to deny DN‘s alleges of streaming fabrications and is assisting with the case: “Tidal is not a suspect in the investigation. We are communicating with Økokrim [the Norwegian authority]. From the very beginning, DN has quoted documents that they have not shared with us in spite of repeated requests. DN has repeatedly made claims based on information we believe may be falsified. We are aware that at least one person we suspected of theft has been questioned. We cannot comment further at this time and refer to our previous statement, which still stands.”
DN has also assumed, in a separate note last year, that Tidal’s self-professed mean of 3 million users is advisedly expanded— but that number does not appear to be a focal point in the official Norwegian investigation into the streaming service’s announced information.