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Tidal accused of failing to pay artists on time

By Marcus Wong - on 17 May 2018, 11:59am

Tidal accused of failing to pay artists on time

Following reports by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that streaming numbers for Beyonce and Kanye West’s latest albums were inflated it appears other parties in the industry are raising complaints against the service.

Music Business Worldwide reports that:

Norwegian collection society Tono (which represents around 30,000 songwriters) has filed an official police complaint against TIDAL, encouraging the authorities to look into the claims of streaming manipulation.

Danish collection society Koda has announced it will be undertaking an independent audit of TIDAL data, so that they can “come to terms with the matter and ensure that our members have received the money from Tidal that belongs to them”.

Dagens Næringsliv also reports that Tidal lowered the music royalty payouts in April last year from 62.5% to 55%, a number more in line with the new deals agreed to by the major music companies and Merlin with Spotify. However, Tidal did so without consulting rights-holders or PROs, which will most certainly create some unhappiness.

Dagens Næringsliv cites TIDAL royalty documents from June 2017 sent to the major labels as evidence, and Music Business Worldwide quotes the CEOs of two prominent Norway-based music businesses as saying there have been delays in payments from Tidal.

Other parties claiming that TIDAL has not paid them for months include successful Norwegian artists Bjørn Gunnar Sando and “Ravi” Johansen. The last public accounts for TIDAL’s parent company, Project Panther Bidco Ltd, also show that the firm lost $42.9m in 2016, and you will remember that Tidal sold about 33% of its business to US telco Sprint for approximately US$200 million last year, so it remains to be seen how well the streaming platform is doing.

Sources: 9 to 5 Mac, Dagens Næringsliv, Koda, Music Business Worldwide, The Guardian

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