Tidal Accused of Faking Streaming Numbers for Beyonce and Kanye West

In February 2016, Tidal claimed that its 3 million subscribers streamed Kanye West’s then-new The Life of Pablo album more than 250 million times in 10 days, meaning that each subscriber played the album an average of eight times per day. In April of the same year, they claimed Beyonce’s Lemonade saw 306 million streams in 15 days across the same subscriber base.

Seems far-fetched, right? Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv thought so, too. After an investigation, the paper reported that Tidal was intentionally inflating its subscriber count. Their report is supported by British firm Midia. Estimates say Tidal’s subscribers number closer to 1 million worldwide.

Tidal, go figure, has denied the report, which also says that the service is paying inflated royalties to the artists’ labels in accordance with the exaggerated numbers. Tidal accused the paper of organizing a smear campaign. (h/t Variety)

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The data in actuality is backed up by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Their report includes work from “some of Norway’s leading experts in data security and cybercrime prevention.”

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