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Tidal Under Investigation for Streaming Data Inflation: Report

Norwegian authorities are investigating Jay-Z’s company Tidal over allegations of falsely inflating streaming statistics, BloombergQuint reports. The news comes nearly eight months after the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reported that a forensic analysis of Tidal streaming data counted over 300 million fake plays for Beyoncé’s album Lemonade and Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo.

A Tidal attorney denied to BloombergQuint that the company is a suspect in the investigation underway by the Norwegian Authority for Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime. The streaming service previously called Dagens Næringsliv’s original report alleging data manipulation a “smear campaign” and subsequently hired a third party to investigate what it described as a “data breach.”

A representative for Tidal today doubled down on accusations that reporting on its data may be unreliable and based on stolen information in a statement to Complex. “DN has repeatedly made claims based on information we believe may be falsified. We are aware that at least one person we suspected of theft has been questioned,” the spokesperson said in part.

Lemonade remains a Tidal exclusive and West’s The Life of Pablo was exclusive to the platform for over a month before its wide release. West also held a minority ownership stake in the company at the time the album dropped. The royalty payments that resulted from both projects’ opening months were reportedly worth millions.