Tidal gets another dose of bad publicity. On Wednesday (May 16), a Norway-based newspaper by the name of Dagens Næringsliv reported that Jay-Z-backed streaming platform was is months behind on royalty payments to record labels. Dagens Næringsliv is the same publication that accused Tidal of manipulating Kanye West's streaming numbers on May 9.
In the report, which was translated by Music Business Worldwide, it is claimed that Tidal is “behind with payments directly to the three major international record companies.” Sony-backed Propeller Recordings CEO Frithjof Boye Hungnes claims the streaming service hasn't paid out royalties in seven months.
“It is correct that there are delays in payments from Tidal,” explained Hungnes, who is one of two Sony-backed record label execs who corroborate the paper's report . “We have not been paid since October...people are talking about withdrawing [their music from Tidal]; I think there is a pretty upset mood.”
Just about a week ago, Tidal was accused of manipulating streaming data for Kanye West's The Life of Pablo and Beyonce's Lemonade in order to make it appear more people had streamed the projects. Both artists were part-owners at the time those two albums were released. Tidal denies the claims.
“This is a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an ‘Israeli Intelligence officer’ and our owner [Jay-Z] as a ‘crack dealer,'” Tidal said in a statement to XXL. “We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously.”