Norway probes Tidal for inflating streaming numbers

Jay-Z’s subscription music streaming service Tidal is being criminally investigated in Norway over allegations that it intentionally inflated listening numbers.

Tidal is beneath investigation by Norway’s monetary crimes unit, Økokrim, after native media tales claimed the service overrated its streaming numbers for artists akin to Beyoncé and Kanye West.

“It has been made known through media coverage that the reports relate to Tidal’s streaming service and a suspicion that someone has manipulated the number of plays of some songs,” Økokrim Attorney Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik talked about Monday.

Tidal has not been charged throughout the investigation, in keeping with the music service’s lawyer Fredrik Berg.

The streaming service, which began as a Norwegian startup often known as Wimp, has denied any wrongdoing.

“Tidal is not a suspect in the investigation,” a rep from Tidal talked about. “We are communicating with Økokrim. From the very beginning, [local newspaper] Dagens Næringsliv 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.”

A lawsuit filed last May by groups working for Norwegian artists and report labels talked about the alleged fraud had deprived totally different artists of their justifiable share of royalties.

At the time, Tidal talked about that West’s album “Life of Pablo” had been streamed 250 million cases in its first 10 days of launch in February 2016, whereas claiming it had merely 3 million subscribers. That would have meant that every subscriber carried out the album a median of eight cases a day.

The agency talked about that Beyoncé’s album “Lemonade” was streamed 306 million cases in its first 15 days of launch in April 2016.

Both claims led to Dagens Næringsliv to begin investigating Tidal for trumped-up numbers.

In 2014, Jay-Z acquired Tidal for $56 million from Norwegian media company Schibsted ASA, and a 12 months later, he launched fellow artists akin to Rihanna and Alicia Keys as co-owners.

Tidal was meant to produce artists a greater share of the proceeds from streaming than rival customary streaming suppliers like Spotify and Apple Music. But Tidal has been unable to meaningfully develop its purchaser base.

A 12 months after purchasing for Tidal, Jay-Z despatched a letter to its earlier homeowners, accusing them of overstating subscriber numbers on the time of the deal.

In 2017, Sprint bought a 33 % stake in Tidal, following tales that the company was in talks with Apple just a few sale, in keeping with tales.

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