Tidal may have been inflating its subscriber numbers

According to a lengthy report from the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, Tidal has been inflating its subscriber totals to the public since the company was acquired by Jay Z two years ago. Dagens Næringsliv says it obtained internal reports from the streaming service that show Tidal only had 350,000 subscribers in September 2015, the same month when Jay Z tweeted that Tidal had reached 1 million users.

And when Tidal announced it reached 3 million subscribers back in March, its monthly report to the music labels stated it had 1.2 million activated accounts and 850,000 subscribers, according to the publication.

Tidal has yet to respond to a request for comment.

For its part, Tidal has acknowledged in the past that its subscriber totals were inflated, but placed the blame on previous owners and announced it was preparing to file a lawsuit last March. In a statement to The Verge at the time, Tidal said it conducted an internal audit and found the skewed numbers. “It became clear after taking control of TIDAL and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners.”

Dagens Næringsliv reports that those lawsuits have “not materialized” as of yet.

Tidal’s subscriber numbers are reportedly on the decline, after reaching its peak after Beyoncé released Lemonade on the service in April. The streaming service reported 1.1 million paying subscribers to the music labels in October, according to the publication.

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