It's no secret that Apple and Tidal are at each other's throats over music exclusives, but that fight might have reached a new peak. Tidal claims that Apple stopped it from streaming Drake's brief guest appearance at New Orleans' Lil Weezyana Fest on August 28th, presumably due to an exclusivity deal with the Canadian musician. If you take Tidal's word at face value, Apple was an Orwellian tyrant "interfering with artistry." One of the New York Post's tipsters goes so far as to contend that Apple is trying to "dictate" when and where artists can perform, which would be harsh... if it were true.
As it turns out, things aren't quite as clear cut as Tidal makes them out to be. While the Post's sources maintain that Apple threatened a $20 million lawsuit over the stream, Drake's manager Future the Prince tells BuzzFeed News that he made the call because of doubts about Tidal's presentation quality. Apple not only didn't threaten to sue, but couldn't -- that would have been up to Cash Money (which is already suing Tidal over a Lil Wayne album) and Universal. Why the hyperbolic language from Tidal, then? If you ask Future, Tidal saw this as an opportunity for a "publicity stunt," an attempt to make Apple look like an evil oppressor when it wasn't even involved. If that's the case, the plan might have backfired in a big way.
[Image credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP]
1/2 Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother's inconvenience.— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) August 29, 2015