Tidal faked higher stats for Beyoncé and Kanye West

After almost a yearlong investigation, Dagens Næringsliv has made bold accusations regarding the streaming records awarded to Kanye and Beyoncé stating, "Beyoncé's and Kanye West's listener numbers on TIDAL have been manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays... which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists".

The allegations come courtesy of Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, which claims the number of listeners for both albums has been, according to a translation by Music Business Worldwide, "manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays ... which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists".

Dagens Naeringsliv subsequently disputed Tidal's subscriber claim, citing research from Midia, which put the platform's user count closer to one million and said that the platform is responsible for under one percent of 100 million streaming subscribers.

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. According to Nielsen, the figures were "nonsense". The newspaper followed up with two users listed in the logs; the publication asked one user if it was possible for her to play tracks from Beyoncé's "Lemonade" 180 times within 24 hours, and she said it was not.

And these reactions are just the tip of the iceberg. Both total 758,745,952 songs streamed on the service.

Its report reads in part, "Using advanced statistical analysis of the data provided by DN, NTNU determined that there had in fact been a manipulation of the data at particular times due to the large presence of similar duplicate records occurring for a large percentage of the userbase that was active at any given time".

While this is not the first time the Jay-Z owned streaming service has been accused of messing with its own numbers - in January of 2017 the paper uncovered documents that suggested the company had been deliberately inflating its subscriber figures - DN has now published a bombshell update following a year-long investigation.

"Due to the targeted nature and extent of the manipulation, it is very unlikely that this manipulation was exclusively the result of a code based bug or other system anomaly", the NTNU report said. That means every subscriber would've played the album an average of eight times per day.

Aside from bragging rights, why does any of this matter? The company is also being accused of paying out inflated royalties based on those numbers reports CBS News.

He is quoted as saying: 'As each of these assumptions is demonstrably false, you and DN lied to NTNU to procure a study'.

  • Marlene Weaver