A serious investigative probe appears to be heading towards JAY-Z’s streaming company, Tidal. According to Bloomberg.com, this subscription-based music and video streaming service is in the process of getting their numbers verified through an intense investigation by the Norway authorities.
The Norwegian Authority for Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) launched the probe after receiving multiple reports from a local newspaper Dagens Næringsliv alleging that Norwegian acts have lost money due to “the manipulation of streaming data,” and American artists like Beyoncé and Kanye are experiencing uncommon inflation.
This is not the first time that Tidal has been under scrutiny based on the numbers. JAY-Z had his issues with the company. In 2017, he reached out to the original owners, Schibsted ASA, to check them about pumping up the subscriber numbers when he originally closed the deal.
These new numbers causing suspicion comes from Norwegian copyright and music associations, who have pushed Okokrim after the Dagens Næringsliv report came out last year. Also Norwegian University of Science and Technology have produced a report that numbers are not on the up and up.
The attorney representing Okokrim stated via email to Bloomberg.com, “It has been made known through media coverage that the reports relate to Tidal’s streaming service and a suspicion that someone has manipulated the number of plays of some songs…”
Tidal’s attorney, Fredrik Berg at Fend, an Oslo-based law firm, while not giving a lot of information about the investigation does contend that Tidal is not suspected or charged.
The official statement is as follows: “Tidal is not a suspect in the underlying investigation… We are communicating with Økokrim. We are aware that at least one person we suspected of theft has been questioned.”