Tidal reportedly behind on royalty payments

Earlier this month, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv alleged Tidal has been manipulating its listener numbers of its two biggest album releases (Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo and Beyonce’s Lemonade) by hundreds of millions, leading to "massive royalty payments at the expense of other artists".

And now, in a new report, the financial paper claims Tidal is “behind with payments directly to three major international record companies”, as reported by Music Business Worldwide.

Two Norway-based music businesses - independent label Propellor Records and its distributor, Sony-owned Phonofile - is said to have confirmed the case to DN.

While royalties are supposed to be paid to labels on a monthly basis, Propeller Recordings CEO Frithjof Boye Hungnes said it had “not been paid since October”.

“People are talking about withdrawing [their music from Tidal]; I think there is a pretty upset mood,” he added.

Tidal has denied all previous DN reports, including that it lost the equivalent of around $44m in 2016 and was living on large loans from the owners' holding company.

If this latest accusation is true, however, Tidal’s financial woes would seem to be significant.


New York Stock Exchange sets Spotify reference price

Spotify faces $1.6bn copyright lawsuit

Tidal Masters (with MQA) review

Spotify improves free mobile listening with on-demand tracks

Best streaming services 2018

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.