Norwegian authorities are investigating claims that American rapper, Jay Z’s music streaming service inflated listening figures for albums by Beyoncé and Kanye West.
Norway opened an investigation into Tidal’s activities following claims that the company falsified streaming figures.
An investigative report by Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv last May claimed that 320 million streams on Tidal of Kayne West’s The Life of Pablo, and on Lemonade, an album by Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce, were bogus.
Tidal has repeatedly denied the reports. The company issued a statement about the allegations and the Norwegian investigation, “Tidal is not a suspect in the investigation. We are communicating with Okokrim. 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 and refer to our previous statement, which still stands.”
Jay-Z paid $56 million to acquire Tidal in 2014 from Wimp, the Norwegian company that developed the streaming service. During a presentation in 2015, he introduced fellow artists such as Rihanna and Alicia Keys as co-owners.
Beyonce and Jay-Z’s former protege West both launched their albums exclusively on the streaming platform in 2016, but Tidal failed to rival streaming competitors such as Apple Music and Spotify.
In 2017, amid rumours Jay-Z was about to sell Tidal to Apple, mobile carrier Sprint stepped in and bought 33 per cent of the company for $200 million.
By Damilola Faustino