TIDAL, whose primary owner is Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, has not enjoyed the dominance in the streaming marketplace to the level that they’ve claimed in times past according to some reports. In a new revelation, it is alleged that the streaming music and content company cooked the numbers of albums from Beyoncé and Kanye West, putting another bad mark on the company.
In March 2016, the firm claimed that Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo, a six-week exclusive on its platform, had been streamed 250m times in just 10 days.
At the same time, TIDAL claimed that its platform had surpassed 3m subscribers.
These numbers meant that, on average, every single TIDAL subscriber would have had to be playing the Kanye album over eight times a day.
Similar suspicions were triggered by the success of Beyonce’s record-breaking Lemonade a couple of months later.
TIDAL claimed that Lemonade was streamed 306m times on its platform in its first 15 days post-release.
Stats like this led Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv to investigate in January 2017 – and uncover documents which, it said, suggested that TIDAL had been deliberately inflating its subscriber figures.
This report was lend credence by data from trusted music industry research firm Midia in the same month, which estimated that TIDAL’s subscriber base actually only included 1m people worldwide.
The outlet adds that Dagens Næringsliv received a hard drive containing TIDAL data, which sparked the paper’s ongoing investigation into its business affairs and numbers.
“Beyoncé’s and Kanye West’s listener numbers on TIDAL have been manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false play, which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists,” the paper wrote.
TIDAL is denying any wrongdoing at the moment, although it is still not forthcoming with its internal records.