Did you sign up for Tidal when Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo was released? So did several others, and the plan to feign exclusivity could backfire.
Back on April 1, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo became available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music after briefly being exclusive to Jay-Z’s Tidal. It was a win for fans, and propelled the album to the number one Billboard spot, underscoring the model of streaming music.
One fan, however, was not to keen on the album becoming more widely available. No, Justin Baker-Rhett is so furious The Life of Pablo is no longer a Tidal exclusive that he filed a class action lawsuit against Kanye West and the streaming service for deceptive marketing practices.
Here’s what West had to say about The Life of Pablo back on Feb. 15, a day after the album official came out:
My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
As we all know, the album is available on services not called Tidal, a fact that Baker-Rhett is very unhappy about. Rhett claims Tidal’s marketing stunt was done to get access to customer data, such as email addresses and credit card information. Apparently two million new subscribers were added to Tidal because of West’s album—not an insignificant number.
Whether these two million people feel as strongly as Baker-Rhett remains to be seen. It is very disingenuous of the service, which has been under plenty of scrutiny as of late, to imply certain music would be exclusive to the platform, only to see that content be released elsewhere.
Baker-Rhett is asking for a full refund, along with a stipulation that would not allow free subscriptions to turn into paid subscriptions, which is a practice many services follow.
In short, don’t ever believe a Kanye Tweet.