I’m going to quote Business Insider for our opening line because it just doesn’t get any simpler than this.
“Thought Tidal couldn’t get any more controversial? You were wrong.”
Jay Z is now apparently suing the former owners of Tidal, “accusing them of exaggerating how many subscribers the service had when his finance vehicle, Project Panther Bidco, bought the company at the start of last year.”
Tidal announced this week that it reached 3 million subscribers, up from the alleged 503,000 estimate that previous Tidal owner Aspiro quoted in January 2015.
Jay Z is looking to claim “100 million” from Aspiro. BI points out that the figure isn’t assigned a currency, and could just as easily be in Norwegian krone. If so, it would amount to around $15 million USD.
Communications manager for Schibsted, a former major shareholders of Aspiro, Anders Rikter told told Dagens Næringsliv that the company was “unsympathetic” to Jay Z’s letter.
And Riker told BreakIt [translated]: “We want to point out that it was a publicly traded company that was acquired, [which means] transparency of financial reporting [was required]. Otherwise we have no comments.”
Tidal is currently facing further scrutiny after news that it was allegedly up for sale came out in February. Additionally, Kanye West has put pressure on the streaming service after he announced that his album, The Life Of Pablo, would forever be a Tidal exclusive, and then subsequently made plans to release it on Spotify and Apple music following consultations with Scooter Braun. Finally, at the beginning of March, Tidal actually terminated their CFO and COO, Chris Hart and Nils Juell, respectively.
Tidal is also under scrutiny after claims that Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo had been streamed 250 million times on its service in its first 10 days, despite the figure of only 3 million subscribers given by the company this week. If that were true, the album would have had to have been streamed an average of at least 83 times by each user – not likely.