More woes for JAY-Z’s TIDAL after Norwegian newspaper allegations
JAY-Z’s TIDAL streaming service has been hit with more problems in the wake of a report by a Norwegian newspaper – which the service has heatedly denied – that it inflated the streaming numbers of Kanye West and Beyoncé .
Norway’s collection society Tono has filed a police complaint against TIDAL, and asked for an investigation.
It represents around 30,000 songwriters, lyricists and composers, as well as more 2.5 million songwriters worldwide.
“We have to protect the interests of the rights holders for whom we work, but we also believe that a complaint is in the interest of TIDAL, which says the data has been stolen and manipulated,” Tono explained.
Norwegian police have not confirmed if it will go ahead with an inquiry.
Danish collection society Koda will be conducting an independent audit of TIDAL data “so that we can come to terms with the matter and ensure that our members have received the money from TIDAL that belongs to them.”
Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv claimed that TIDAL grossly inflate the number of times that Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Beyoncé’s Lemonade were played by 320 million.
It based its accusations on a hard drive it acquired that reportedly contained a huge volume of TIDAL data and evidence of manipulation, and which it said didn’t tally with TIDAL’s claimed 3 million subscription numbers.
The inflated plays increased royalties to the two artists at the expense of others.
‘The report was made in association with Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) which claimed TIDAL’s distortion of figures range from “simple duplication and insertion of fabricated playbacks of tracks,” to “more advanced (and difficult to detect) manipulation.”
TIDAL responded by calling it “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.”
In the meantime, JAY-Z is being sued for nearly $600,000 by two Swedish law firms, Roschier and SEB.
They say they were hired in 2014 to act as financial advisor and handling the settlement agent to Carter Enterprises or its designee for the TIDAL deal.”
But they have not been paid, court papers said.