Norwegian Authorities Investigating Jay-Z’s Tidal Over Beyonce and Kanye West Streams

Music streaming service Tidal, owned by rap mogul Jay-Z, is facing a criminal investigation in Norway for allegedly inflating Kanye West and Beyonce’s streaming figures.

The company came under scrutiny last year after the country’s Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) newspaper published a story alleging streaming data was manipulated, resulting in the overpayment of royalties for Kanye’s The Life of Pablo and Jay’s wife Beyonce’s 2016 record Lemonade.

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied streaming information obtained by DN editors from two months in 2016 to see if it tallied to payments of $2.5 million and $3 million made to the pair’s respective record labels, sums they claimed were excessive. Both West and Beyonce debuted exclusively on the service.

Tidal bosses have denied any claims of wrongdoing, but Norwegian prosecutors have now confirmed they have opened a criminal probe into the matter. Richard Sanders, the CEO, called the allegations “false” but said the company had appointed a cyber-security firm to, “further protect the security and integrity of our data.”

The investigation is still in its early stages according to Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik, the Chief Public Prosecutor at Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim).

DN claims four former Tidal employees, including a Head of Business Intelligence at the Sweden-based firm, have been interrogated by prosecutors so far. Harbo-Lervik also said executives at the premium music streaming service were yet to provide her with all the information she required.

Tidal’s lawyer, Fredrik Berg told WENN that the firm was “not a suspect” and added: “We are communicating with Okokrim. We are aware that at least one person we suspected of theft has been questioned.”

Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, part-owns Tidal and relaunched it in 2015 with a star-studded event in New York City.


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