A criminal investigation is underway over Jay-Z’s company Tidal and claims the music subscription service has been inflating its subscribers in addition to allegedly underpaying artists.
Last week, the Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv published an investigative piece accusing Tidal of manipulating their numbers to financially benefit Rihanna, Kanye West, and Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce
In a new report, Dagens Naeringsliv claims says it has proof bosses at Tidal lowered the royalties they paid to musicians from 62.5 percent to 55 percent, without properly renegotiating with labels or the artists.
The action has moved TONO, Norway’s equivalent to BMI and ASCAP in the United States, to file a police report with an office representing economic and environmental crimes.
Other organizations are taking action against Tidal too, although not as extreme as TONO’s.
GramArt, which represents professional musicians is demanding an audit, as is the Norwegian branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
In a previous statement, representatives for Tidal denied all of the allegations levied at them in the report by Dagens Naeringsliv.
“This is a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an ‘Israeli Intelligence officer’ and our owner as a ‘crack dealer,’” a Tidal spokesperson said. “We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies, and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously.”