It turns out numbers can maybe lie.
Norwegian business newspaper, Dagens Naeringsliv, isn't backing down on claims about Tidal, which is co-owned by Jay Z, faking streaming numbers for Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo.
Dagens Naeringsliv, or DN, first reported the alleged discrepancy in streaming numbers last week. Now, they're accusing Tidal of reducing payments to artists from 62.5 percent to 55 percent, according to NPR. If true, this could hinder Tidal's branding, as the streaming platform is marketed as the only one to pay artists their fair share since 55 percent is the going rate for Spotify and Apple Music as well.
But Norwegian artists aren't just voicing their concerns to DN. They're taking legal action. As NPR reports, TONO, a Norwegian collective comprised of composers, lyricists, and music publishers filed a report with Okokrim (Norway's police department which focuses on fighting "economic and environmental crime." TONO's sister organization in Denmark, Koda, and GramArt, a Norway association for professional musicians, also announced plans to request an independent audit on Tidal's streaming numbers.
We reached out to a rep at Tidal for comment but have yet to hear back. Last week, Tidal told Complex the allegations were "ridiculous."
"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.' We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods," read their statement. "The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously."
Tidal, which is created by Scandinavian company Aspiro AB, is also co-owned (through shares) by Beyoncé, West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Usher, Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, deadmau5, J. Cole, and more. Sprint also owns 33 percent of the company.