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Jay Z accuses previous TIDAL owner of inflating number of subscribers

on March 31, 2016, 2:05pm

This week marked the one-year anniversary of Jay Z’s acquisition of high-fidelity streaming music platform TIDAL. The last 365 days have not been without their struggles, as the company has gone through not one, not two, but three CEOs, and mistakenly leaked Rihanna’s album, all while trying to justify its high $19.99-a-month price-point amid an increasingly competitive field of streaming music. As of this week, TIDAL surpassed three-million subscribers, though those numbers still pale in comparison to the 30 million subscribers touted by Spotify and 11 million by Apple Music.

It seems Jay Z is attributing part of TIDAL’s sluggish start to the company’s previous owners, accusing Schibsted ASA of inflating the number of subscribers (at the time of the deal, TIDAL claimed to have 540,000 subscribers). Now, he’s begun the legal process to recoup some of the $56 million paid to Schibsted ASA in exchange of TIDAL.

“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,” representatives for Jay Z told Bloomberg. “As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale.”

In response, a spokesperson for Schibsted said, “We disagree with the accusations in the letter and any potential claims. We would like to point out that the company was listed on the stock exchange with everything that entails regarding transparent financial reporting.”

Jay Z has reportedly been shopping TIDAL for several months to no avail, and surely confusion over the number of total subscribers doesn’t help the value of the company.

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