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Jay Z wants part of the $56 million he paid for his stake in Tidal back

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With a claimed 3 million subscribers, Tidal may not be able to boast the same massive audience as Spotify or even Apple Music, but it’s certainly a lot bigger than it was when Jay Z bought the struggling streaming service last year.

In fact, Tidal’s recent growth may be even more impressive, as it seems the service’s subscriber count may have been smaller than it claimed at the time of the acquisition, Bloomberg reports. Tidal has sent a letter to the Norwegian company Schibsted ASA, which previously held the majority stake in Tidal-creator Aspiro.

“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. “As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale.”

As much of the valuation of Aspiro at the time of sale was based directly on subscriber numbers, Tidal now claims that the $56 million Jay Z’s S. Carter Enterprises LLC paid to acquire the company was too much. For its part, Schibsted says that the buyer did conduct due diligence prior to the sale, and everything was on the level.

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

In the meantime, Tidal has certainly grown its subscriber base, but the streaming service has continued to have troubles of its own since the acquisition. While exclusives from Jay Z and other artists like Kanye West and Rihanna have drawn subscribers, the service still hasn’t grown as quickly as others, and competition continues to stack up alongside the company’s more entrenched rivals like Spotify.

Now reports are floating that Tidal plans to add movie streaming to the services it offers, including original programming. Sources say this could become a reality as soon as June.

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Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
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