It has been reported that Norwegian songwriters, composers, and music publisher named Tono have filed an official complaint against Jay-Z’s streaming company; TIDAL.
According to reports by Digital Music News, the decision to do so came after a report from Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) recently published an inflammatory article about the service, suggesting that it artificially manipulated streaming numbers for Beyoncé and Kanye West’s catalogs, resulting in hefty royalty payouts for them. Dagens came to this conclusion after a two-year-long investigation working alongside Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Center for Cyber and Information Security (CCIS).
The CCIS report revealed that the streaming service had manipulated up to 320 million false listening sessions and deliberately manipulated genuine user accounts to inflate the total streaming plays.
TIDAL’s lawyer; Jordan W. Seiv has also reportedly given life to these accusations by stating that the stolen hard drive used as evidence containing TIDAL’s total stream counts is real but he didn’t at any point deny the ‘manipulated data’ claims against the company.
In a related report, DN found that TIDAL had also dropped royalty payouts to labels from 62.5% to 55%. This action results in artists receiving much fewer royalties without any proper heads-up or warning.
Cato Strøm, Tono’s Director, said that he has tried to get in touch with TIDAL to address his artists’ concerns but his attempts haven’t proven futile.
He also stated many musicians have started removing their music from the service and TIDAL’s failure to address the issue has also struck a chord with collecting societies in other countries. According to Billboard, several music organizations are currently contemplating also filing complaints against TIDAL. Koda, Tono’s sister collection organization in Denmark has demanded an audit of TIDAL’s numbers.
What TIDAL makes of these accusations remains to be seen but things are definitely not looking good for the company.