“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’,” the company hit back in a statement issued to Pitchfork.
“We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods.”
The “them” Tidal refers to is Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, which this week accused the company of reporting over 320 million false plays of Beyoncé’s hit album Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo – both released exclusively on Tidal in 2016.
READ MORE: Lemonade boosts Tidal numbers exponentially
Dagens Næringsliv claims to have obtained a Tidal hard drive that allegedly contained manipulated streaming data among millions of subscribers.
In one example, the newspaper stated that a single user had streamed music off The Life of Pablo 96 times in one day, of which 54 of the streams occurred in the early hours of the morning.
The publication also alleges that the data indicates that users listen to multiple songs at once and that songs were being streamed at six-minute intervals – an interval it suggests is suspicious.
Tidal, however, claims that its data was tampered with.
“The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously,” Tidal said in its statement.
At the time of its release in March 2016, Tidal claimed that West’s The Life of Pablo had recorded an impressive 250 million streams within the first 10 days of release, while Beyonce’s Lemonade – released the following month and which is still only available for streaming through Tidal exclusively – received 306 million streams, just over two weeks after release.
Tidal was acquired by Jay-Z in 2015 and is co-owned by the cream of the music industry’s crop, including Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Madonna, Beyoncé and Usher. It has been presented as an opportunity for consumers to tap into a better music service and exclusive access to not-yet-released content.