Apple Music’s US$20 Million Lawsuit Threat Forces Tidal to Cut Out Drake’s Charity Concert


Apple Music threatened to sue Tidal for US$20 million if it went ahead with its exclusive streaming of Drake’s charity concert.

Retaliating to this, Tidal stopped the streaming of the Drake performance with the scathing message, ‘Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience’.

Drake had appeared for a two-song performance at a charity show, Lil WeezyAna festival in New Orleans, which Jay Z’s video streaming service Tidal was streaming it live for its subscribers. The charity show benefited the Carter Fund, a foundation that supports after-school projects in Lousiana. However, Apple Music was not happy with the arrangement as the Canadian rapper had signed an exclusive deal with them worth US$19 million.

Backed with ample legal support, Apple threatened to sue Tidal for up to US$20 million if Drake’s music was streamed live. Legal letters were apparently sent from Apple Music to Tidal, warning of consequences if the streaming of Drake’s performance either in a group or solo is continued, according to Page Six.

Page Six also reported that Drake, whose agreement with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Records was still on, was keen on performing at the charity gig along with the Hot Boys, Lil Wayne’s 1990s group and Nicki Minaj. Caught on a back foot maneuver, Tidal decided to hit back at the tech giant by putting the blame squarely on them with that rather scorching message in place of Drake’s two-song performance.

However, Future the Prince, Drake’s manager challenged the story by flatly denying that Apple threatened to sue. He was quoted in buzzfeed, ‘the decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal stream has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal: Point blank, 100%. I made a business decision’. Future the Prince accused Apple of turning the situation in their favor simply by using this as a publicity stunt and that the tech giant had no control over whether Drake’s performance can be or cannot be streamed online by Tidal.

In a short speech when he appeared during the unveiling of the Apple Music in June, Drake had said, ‘This is something that simplifies everything for the modern musician like me and the modern consumer like you’. These kinds of legal fights are expected to be more frequent as many music companies such as Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify among others battle to get exclusive deals from celebrity artists.

Apple Music Isn’t Apple’s First Mistake, There are Plenty More

Apple Music is strongly criticized by the general public, music composers and tech analysts. If you delve deeper into the world of Apple, this is not the first ever mistake committed by the company.

They have made a lot of decisions that are extremely annoying to users. The pre-loaded apps in their devices were the first announcement that annoyed almost the entire Apple community. On a fine day, a huge iOS update rolled out. It came pre-loaded with a new app that was designed to keep repeating advertisements for the Apple Watch. While one can’t blame Apple for trying to promote a new product to their huge fan base, it is not a wise move to annoy them all at once by forcing them to buy the watch.

From the company’s perspective, it’s about creating a single ecosystem where users could get everything they need. Apple has music, photos, maps and every other services that you may ask for. However, the problem began when they forced users to use it instead of third party apps that offer better user experience.

Majority of these third party apps are exceptionally good because the entire team that programs it is dedicated to one goal. Evernote is still the best note taking app while Dropbox is a much better cloud storage solution that you could access on any device. Google Maps is years ahead in terms of offering unparalleled functionality, reliable statistics and directions. However, when Apple tried to push their Maps service, which was as flawed as Apple Music, the company was forced to retreat and suggest users to go with an app they like the most.

Apple Music is the latest in the list of mistakes Apple has committed so far. It is easily one of the worst choices for music lovers because people have been pouring in complaints of how the iCloud and iTunes had messed up their music libraries. In trying to sync songs with the new service, they have deleted many. The app’s usability is at a questionable level and it can hardly be considered as an alternative to Spotify.

Just because Apple has released the best smartphone and tablet in the world doesn’t mean they have to do everything else to create a unified ecosystem. Besides, users like to have choices when it comes to hardware or software. Instead of trying to step into every industry and mess it up, they could focus on creating the best operating systems and Macintosh machines.