Jay Z had a lot to celebrate this week when TIDAL announced they surpassed 3 million subscribers in one year and claim Kanye West’s new album, The Life Of Pablo, was streamed 250 million times. If you do the math, that means each one of TIDAL’s paid subscribers listened to Kanye’s record 80 times in total, which is improbable, but it’s not the only numbers issue the streaming company is embroiled in.
Jay Z served legal papers to the former owners of TIDAL, known as Aspiro AB previously, claiming they inflated their subscribers count at the time of purchasing. The complaint says that variable was one of the most alluring reasons to pursue the $56 million acquisition.
At the time, Aspiro AB claimed it had 503,000 subscribers, but after investigating… TIDAL is now claiming that number was actually far lower. In a statement to Billboard, TIDAL says: “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,” the statement said. “As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale. While we cannot share further comment during active legal proceedings, we’re proud of our success and remain focused on delivering the best experience for artists and fans.”
A Norwegian site claims the shaky number analysis could be due to how TIDAL analyzed Aspiro AB’s direct subscribers versus subscribers through its partners, but the TIDAL refutes that. Their reps clarify to Billboard there is no lawsuit yet, but that the “legal papers serve notice that one is possible as Tidal considers its options moving forward.”
In other words, TIDAL is still a mess.