Tidal is facing allegations that it has inflated subscriber numbers. Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv claimed that it has obtained internal reports that show Tidal only had 350,000 subscribers in September 2015. That same month, owner Jay-Z had tweeted that Tidal was “1,000,000 people and counting.” The publication also said that in March 2016, Tidal had 1.2 million activated accounts and 850,000 subscribers, even though it announced publicly that it had 3 million subscribers. Tidal has not issued a comment yet about the claims.
The question of how many people are really using Tidal has been a frequent one over the years. After Jay-Z acquired the company from Aspiro, he talked about plans for a lawsuit on those same charges: that the owner had exaggerated the size of its audience prior to the takeover. When the lawsuit talk emerged, Aspiro’s only comment was that it had been transparent about its finances. It’s unclear to us whether the discrepancies alleged by Dagens Næringsliv are related to Aspiro’s alleged inflation. What is clear is that more negative press can’t be good for the oft-beleaguered Tidal.