Tidal, one of the other streaming services out there, ran afoul of some troubling reports regarding its streaming numbers.
Dagens Næringsliv is reporting on Monday that the Norwegian authorities are currently investigating Tidal over its allegedly fraudulent streaming numbers. Økokrim is Norway’s National Authority for Investigation, and apparently Tidal’s streaming numbers caught the agency’s attention after there were reports that 320 million streams of Beyoncé’s album Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo didn’t happen at all. That report surfaced last May — around the same time it was reported that Tidal was also months behind its royalty payments to some record labels.
This discovery, if true, of fraudulent streams means that Tidal would be artificially inflating royalty payments to some artists. And for those keeping track, Tidal has also been accused of inflating its overall subscriber numbers, too.
Here’s a statement from Tidal regarding the report:
“Tidal is not a suspect in the investigation. We are communicating with Økokrim. 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.”
As it stands, nothing has been confirmed just yet. This criminal investigation should unearth something concrete, though. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Considering the history Tidal has with these types of reports, this can’t be great.