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Jay Z Claims Tidal Subscriber Numbers Were Inflated Before Purchase

Music streaming service has struggled to find market foothold since rap mogul bought it last year

Jay Z is going to court with the Norwegian media company that sold him Tidal in 2015, claiming Schibsted ASA inflated the streaming service’s subscriber numbers prior to the transaction.

“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,” Tidal said in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”

Tidal also claimed to have “surpassed 3 million subscribers globally” in the same statement.

Schibsted ASA sold Tidal to Jay Z for a reported $56 million. The rap mogul relaunched the company shortly thereafter in a major event featuring artists like Rihanna, Madonna, Kanye West and Beyonce, who all pledged to release exclusive works on the service.

But their star power failed to yield results, as consumers balked at the $19.99 subscription price set for Tidal’s high-definition streams.

The service has endured a high turnover rate among top executives as well. Tidal announced in March that it has terminated chief financial officer Chris Hart and chief operating officer Nils Juell. Tidal has also gone through three CEOs since Jay Z bought it.

Electronics giant Samsung had reportedly restarted talks to acquire the digital music subscription service. However, Samsung confirmed that there will be no purchase in the foreseeable future despite Jay Z having been spotted visiting the company’s offices last October.

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