Not a good look for TIDAL or Jay Z.
Since launching in 2014, it’s been no secret that Jay Z’s TIDAL streaming service has not been doing that well. A report from last year showed that the service had a net loss of $28 million in its first year under Jay Z (and other artists’) ownership. Now more bad news for the company, as a new investigative report asserts that TIDAL has been inflating its subscriber numbers for over a year.
The report comes from Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (don’t ask us how to pronounce that), who were able to get inside information about TIDAL because its main offices are in Oslo, Norway where it was originally known as streaming service Wimp.
The publication claims it has internal reports from the company showing TIDAL only had 350,000 subscribers in September of 2015, when Jay Z tweeted that the company had just reached 1 million subscribers. Meanwhile, in March of 2016 the company publicly broadcast it had reached the 3 million subscriber mark allegedly reporting only 850,000 subscribers to music labels.
"Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists" Tidal is platinum. 1,000,000 people and counting. Let's celebrate 10/20 Brooklyn.— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) September 29, 2015
That same March, another Swedish news outlet reported that Jay Z was suing the former owners of TIDAL for around $15 million for misleading him about subscriber totals at the time of purchase. This would make sense given the new reports from DN, but the lawsuits have reportedly not appeared yet, and TIDAL is still using the inflated subscriber numbers.
We’ve reached out to TIDAL for comment.