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Jay Z‘s music streaming service Tidal was deemed a success by its millionaire mogul boss back in 2015 when he boasted of having 1 million subscribers signed up via Twitter. According to a recent report, the company might have overstated its subscription numbers.

Norweigan newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports that Tidal has twice made false statements regarding the service’s subscribers using internal reports. In the investigative piece, which doesn’t list a date, the paper found that instead of the three million subscribers the service boasted of in March 2016, the number is actually around 1.2 million.

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Now, a new investigative report says it’s all a fraudulent lie. The accusations, which are being published by Markus Tobiassen and Kjetil Saeter of Norwegian publication Dagens Naeringsliv, are that Tidal has created fake accounts and lied to the media and partners.

That includes publications like Digital Music News, who have faithfully reported the subscriber numbers.

Tobiassen and Saeter interviewed staffers at TIDAL, as well as partners and confidential sources. And the information that came back was pretty damning. “When 16 of the world’s biggest pop stars, one a convicted cocaine smuggler and a former Israeli intelligence officer was not able to obtain enough customers to Jay Z’s Tidal, the company began to inflate subscription numbers,” the report alleges.

DMN spoke this morning with Tobiassen, who offered a translation of the report. “On March 30th of last year, Tidal issued a press release stating that the company had reached ‘three million members,’” the report states. “The news story reported worldwide was that Tidal had three million paying subscribers. Tidal also specified to online newspaper The Verge that this figure did not include trial subscribers. This was the last time Tidal reported a total number of subscribers to the public.”

DMN goes on to write that the company made payouts for over 850,000 subscribers but offered record labels an internal report of 1.2 million subscribers. Several outlets have tried confirming the findings in the Dagens Naeringsliv but have not answered the allegations.

Photo: tidal/screen cap

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