Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal may have exaggerated its subscriber numbers by as much as half.
Tidal has recently claimed to have over three million subscribers, while separate reports have claimed up to six million. More than half of these are supposedly paying customers who each hand over $20 per month. However, investigative reports indicate that these numbers may be entirely fabricated.
The report claims that while Tidal claims to have attracted three million subscribers, the streaming service made payments to record labels for just 850 thousand subscribers. The figure reported internally by Tidal in April 2016 is 1.2 million active accounts.
Markus Tobiassen and Kjetil Saeter of Norwegian publication Dagens Naeringsliv published the report, which goes on to state that Tidal created fake accounts and lied to media companies about their numbers.
On March 30th of 2016, Tidal issued a press release stating that it had reached three million subscriber numbers and specified to The Verge that this did not include trial subscribers. Since then, Tidal has not reported its subscriber numbers to the public.
Arthur Sund, former Manager of the streaming company’s Business Intelligence Department claims that 170 thousand subscribers appeared in October. Sund goes on to tell Digital Music News that these were dead accounts being revitalized with no actual activity.
Misreporting at Tidal has supposedly been taking place since the company was acquired by Jay Z two years ago. According to The Verge, Tidal has acknowledged that its subscriber rates were inflated, though it placed the blame on its previous owners and filed a lawsuit last March. The company apparently reported 1.1 million paying subscribers to the music labels this past October.
Furthermore, Tidal’s subscriber numbers are said to be on the decline after after peaking with the release of Beyonce’s Lemonade on the platform this past April.
[source]Digital Music News[/source]