Multiple sources have said that Tidal has not making timely payments to "three major international companies," claims confirmed by two Norway-based labels: Propellor Records and its distributor, Phonofile, a company owned by Sony.
Phonofile CEO Sveinung Rindal said that reports of delayed payments are correct, while Propeller Recordings CEO Frithjof Boye Hungnes said the company had not been paid since October. "People are talking about withdrawing [their music from TIDAL]; I think there is a pretty upset mood," said Hungnes.
Tidal in December was said to be facing money problems due to stalled user growth, and reports suggested that it could run out of working capital within six months.
Dagens Næringsliv has been investigating Tidal in recent weeks and has also accused the streaming music service of falsifying and inflating streaming numbers for Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album and Beyonce's Lemonade album.
Tidal claimed that Kanye West's album achieved 250 million streams within 10 days and that Beyonce's album reached 306 million streams within 15 days, figures that were said to be false following a year-long investigation conducted by Dagens Næringsliv and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Center for Cyber and Information Security.
During the time that Tidal announced the Kanye West album figure, for example, Tidal said that it had 3 million subscribers. At 3 million subscribers, to reach that streaming number, each Tidal subscriber would have needed to play the Kanye album more than eight times per day, as Music Business Worldwide points out.
Tidal has called the claims a "smear campaign" of lies and falsehoods, constructed from stolen and manipulated information. "We will fight these claims vigorously," the service said in a statement.