Tidal Faces Backlash From Data Manipulation Accusations

– Tidal
After a Norwegian newspaper formally accused Tidal of inflating the streaming numbers of Kanye West and Beyoncé albums, the company is now facing potential action from Scandinavian authorities. 
The original report came from Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv, in a lengthy report which was in the making for more than a year. The smoking gun of DN’s report, which was also used for research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, was a hard drive acquired by the paper that reportedly contained tons of Tidal data and evidence of manipulation.
Now, NPR is reporting that a Norwegian collection society has filed a report with Okokrim, a prosecuting and police authority in Norway. Other organizations in Denmark and Norway have also reportedly been demanding audits and announcing they will conduct reviews of Tidal’s data.
DN’s accusations essentially state that, in a variety of ways, Tidal manipulated data to show records of streams that had never happened. The methods by which this was done, according to the NTNU, range from “simple duplication and insertion of fabricated playbacks of tracks,” to “more advanced (and difficult to detect) manipulation.”
The albums in question were West’s The Life Of Pablo¸ which was released exclusively for six weeks through Tidal in February 2016, and Lemonade, which was released by Beyoncé exclusively on Tidal in April 2016.
Tidal officials claim that the hard drive in question, which was used for the NTNU’s research, was doctored by a biased publication to appear incriminating, according to a statement provided to Rolling Stone.
“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 rep told the magazine. “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.”