Tidal Faces Lawsuit For Falsely Claiming Exclusivity

Tidal Faces Lawsuit For Falsely Claiming Exclusivity
Kanye West @ MoMA Jason Persse / Flickr cc

Not much has gone right for Tidal since its less-than-promising launch about a year ago and things just got worse. Earlier this week, a lawsuit was filed against Tidal in the U.S. District Court which states that Kanye had falsely emphasized that his recent album, “The Life of Pablo”, would only be made available at Tidal.


According to a Tweet posted by Kanye, it was pretty apparent that Pablo would not ever become a property of Apple and nor would it ever be sold elsewhere, online or otherwise: “My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be on sale… You can only get it on Tidal.” Learning that it was only going to be streamed on Tidal put all his millions of fans into an instant frenzy, all rushing to the only place that Kanye claimed his music could be heard. This was all well and good for Tidal, which saw a major spike in its number of subscribers, till the album, defying Kanye’s promise, was made available at Spotify and not to mention, for sale at Kanye’s own website!

A recent report by Wired revealed that there is a distinct possibility that such a decision was taken by Kanye after he incurred huge losses due to several people opting for illegal downloads of the song. Whatever might be the reason, the exclusive tie-up between Pablo and Tidal was finished even before it even started; making people think that it was just some kind of a cheap publicity stunt to boost subscribers at the not-so-popular streaming portal.

In an attempt to survive and maintain its valuation over that of its competitors such as Spotify, Tidal has presented famous musicians a unique opportunity to be in control of their music even after release. While this turned out to be a boon for obsessive perfectionists like Kanye who are in the habit of frequently going back to their album in order tweak it time and again, it backfired for Tidal, because people were unable to have access to his music every time Kanye temporarily pulled it down from the streaming service to make changes.

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The lawsuit is an additional blow to Tidal, a warning that “non-exclusive exclusives” will not be encouraged in the future, no matter what big names are connected to them.

Also Read: Kanye West, Jay-Z’s Tidal Sued Over Deceiving Fans on Exclusivity of ‘The Life of Pablo’ Album

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