TIDAL is being investigated for allegedly manipulating streaming numbers for Beyoncé and Kanye West.
UPDATE: TIDAL has issued the following statement on the allegations: "This is a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an ‘Israeli Intelligence officer’ and our owner as a ‘crack dealer.’ We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously."
When Jay-Z had announced his plans to operate TIDAL a few years ago, many artists rushed to join him, buying stakes in the company and partnering with Jay to run a rival streaming service to Spotify and Apple Music. As one of the top music streaming services in the world, it was exciting for artists to hear they would be receiving a larger cut from each stream of their music, as well as the possibility for exclusive content to be launched on the platform. While the medium has been successful thus far, they may need to explain themselves over recent accusations made against them for altering the factual streaming numbers for Kanye West's The Life of Pablo and Beyoncé's Lemonade.
For weeks, TLOP was a TIDAL-exclusive, prompting many to subscribe to the service so they can hear new Ye in 2016. Executives at TIDAL claimed that the record was streamed over 250 million times in 10 days despite their mere 3 million subscribers at the time, prompting a Norwegian Newspaper to conduct a further investigation. Similar data was looked into after Beyoncé broke streaming records debuting Lemonade. After nearly a yearlong investigation, Dagens Næringsliv has made bold accusations regarding the streaming records awarded to Kanye and Beyoncé stating, "Beyoncé’s and Kanye West’s listener numbers on TIDAL have been manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays… which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists."
The newspaper is making the claims based on their receipt of a hard drive containing, according to them, "billions of rows of [internal TIDAL data]: times and song titles, user IDs and country codes." If the accusations turn out to be true, the company could be in some hot water. For more information, refer to the initial report by Music Business Worldwide.