An elbows-deep probe into Tidal and its allegedly inflated streaming numbers on a bunch of titles has entered the next phase as Norwegian authorities launch their own investigation into the digital platform.
The Norwegian Authority for Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim), the Nordic territory’s central unit for tackling economic and environmental crimes, says it would explore whether “someone” had fudged Tidal’s data, and legal proceedings haven’t been ruled out.
The development stems from an investigation by Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv last year which alleged that Tidal was involved in a ruse where streaming numbers for Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Beyonce‘s Lemonade were falsely pumped by more than 300 million total plays, resulting in massive royalty payouts at the expense of other recording artists.
The DN’s investigation was sparked by a lucky find: a hard drive with dubious contents, which TIDAL strongly challenged. Along the way, reporters interviewed scores of subscribers and artists and got in touch with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, which reportedly assembled some of the country’s “leading experts in data security and cybercrime prevention” to get on the case (its forensic analysis can be read here.)