Music Business

Tidal’s Troubles Mount: Late Payments Join Streaming Massive Manipulation Charges

Tidal logoJust days after Norwegian investigative journalists accused TIDAL of a massive manipulation of streaming data, multiple sources are reporting both underpayments and late payments from the streamer. At least two performing rights organizations are now calling for action including a criminal investigation and audits.


Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv is reporting that at least three major music companies are concerned over late payments and underpayments from streaming music service TIDAL.

Hypebot has independently confirmed what several established Norwegian music companies told DN, TIDAL is months behind on payments to at least some rightshoders.  “It is correct that there are delays in payments from Tidal,” said  Sveinung Rindal, CEO of The Orchard in Norway told DN.

Even for those TIDAL is sending checks to, the rate paid has apparently been lowered without warning or consent. MBW is reporting that TIDAL reduced its recorded music royalty payments in April of 2017 from 62.5% of  revenue to 55%  without consulting rights-holders or PROs. It was around that time that Spotify, the major labels and Merlin agreed to a lower royalty rate. But, unlike Spotify, TIDAL's deal had not been renegotiated.

Also this week,  Norwegian performing rights organization Tono asked local police to investigate TIDAL, after a reports that the music streamer falsified hundreds of millions of plays of the music of Beyoncé and Kanye West.  Tono, which represents 30,000 rights holders, found that claims of streaming manipulation by TIDAL were "strong" and "apparently credible," as they filed a complaint with the Norwegian police.

Danish collection society Koda has announced that it will be doing its own independent audit of TIDAL data.

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