Tidal, a subscription-based music and video streaming service owned by rapper Jay-Z, is being investigated in Norway for allegations of falsely inflating listening numbers.
The investigations follow the ongoing reports of the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that the music transmission service has inflated its number of artists such as Beyonce and Kanye West.
Tidal is currently examining the Norwegian Authority for the Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) after having received allegations of associations of Norwegian artists claiming possible losses of # 39 ; income derived from the transmission data manipulation.
"It has been made known through the media coverage that the reports refer to the Tidal transmission service and a suspicion that someone has manipulated the amount of works of some songs" , said Okokrim's lawyer, Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik, in the comments sent by email.
Okokrim said he had initiated an investigation to confirm or deny the alleged manipulation, according to Harbo-Lervik, and refused to give more details about the investigation.
Tidal's lawyer, Fredrik Berg, at Fend, a law firm in Oslo, said he was not suspected or accused of Tidal. Berg refused to make other comments.
"Tidal is not a suspect in the underlying investigation," said a spokeswoman for the company. "We are communicating with Økokrim. We are aware that at least one person suspected of theft has been questioned."
Jay-Z acquired Tidal in 2014 in an agreement of 56 million dollars, to give its peers a greater part of the revenues of the streaming services, which now represent more than half of all the sales of the United States record industry . During a presentation in 2015, he introduced artists such as Rihanna and Alicia Keys as co-owners.
The services have not competed on platforms such as Spotify Technology SA and Apple Music. In 2017, Sprint Corp. It acquired a 33% stake, after reports that Tidal was discussing with Apple over a sale, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A year after buying Tidal, Jay-Z sent a letter to the previous owners, Schibsted ASA, a Norwegian media company, accusing the seller of exaggerating the subscriber numbers at the time of the agreement .
The latest claims came from the Norwegian author and music rights associations, after Dagens Næringsliv's research published in 2018. The newspaper, along with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, analyzed the data that is due to raw data from Tidal. The university prepared a report that concluded that there had been manipulations of the data at specific times.
Now read: Audio-Technica launches its best noise canceling headphones