Tidal streaming data figures investigated by Norway

January 15, 2019 7:43 am

Beyonce's husband, Jay-Z, bought Tidal in 2015 [Source: BBC]

The streaming figures of music service Tidal are under investigation in Norway over claims the numbers of listeners to 2016 albums by Beyonce and Kanye West, among others, were inflated.

The Norwegian authorities said they would explore whether “someone” had manipulated the figures but did not name any individuals or companies.

Tidal’s lawyer said the platform was “not under suspicion in this case”.

Article continues after advertisement

The company behind Tidal was bought by Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, in 2015.

The claims were made by the newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) last year.

The Norwegian Authority for Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) said the move would have led Tidal to have paid disproportionate royalties to the singers’ record companies at the expense of other artists.

At the time, the streaming service dismissed the claims as being “a smear campaign”.

It says it is now communicating with Okokrim about the investigation, and has also engaged a cyber-security firm to review the security and integrity of its data.

In 2015, Jay-Z paid $56m (£37m at the time) for Norwegian company Wimp, which developed Tidal.

In 2017, he sold his stake to Sprint, which is owned by Japan’s Softbank.

It was estimated to have paid $200m for a 33% stake.