In a report released by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, the streaming service Tidal is being accused of manipulating, and falsifying the streaming numbers of two of its biggest stars in Beyonce and Kanye West. The streaming service which was initially purchased and championed by rap mogul Jay-Z features some of the music world’s biggest stars including Deadmau5, Rihanna, & Calvin Harris to name a few.
The report states that Tidal intentionally falsified streaming numbers for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo”, respectively. The manipulation of the streaming numbers directly resulted in Tidal paying out artificially inflated royalties to the artists’ labels. The over payment of royalties to Beyonce & Kanye came at the expense of Tidals‘ remaining artist. How this will be received is yet to be seen.
Tidal, known to keep a tight lid on its data, still manages to celebrate some alleged milestones. It claimed:
“West’s album … streamed 250 million times in its first 10 days of release… while … it had just 3 million subscribers…
that meant every subscriber played the album an average of eight times per day.
Beyonce’s album… Streamed 306 million times in its first 15 days of release…”
It were these very same claims that led the Norwegian news outlet to look into Tidal‘s streaming numbers. Dagens Næringsliv reports to have received “a hard drive holding internal streaming numbers from the company”. Upon investigation and review of the data, it seems as though Tidal‘s user base is closer to one million in total, compared to the three million the company had claimed.
According to the investigation:
“Tidal paid Beyonce’s label Sony more than $4 million for April and May of 2016…“Lemonade” accounted for $2.5 million. it also paid West’s label Universal 3.2 million euros, 2 million for “Pablo.”