Did Apple threaten Tidal with $20 million lawsuit over Drake charity appearance?


Drake's iTunes page. The Apple Music exclusive artist is not supposed to stream on other services.
Drake's iTunes page. The Apple Music exclusive artist is not supposed to stream on other services.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Jay-Z’s Tidal hasn’t been much of a threat to Apple Music so far, but according to Tidal, that’s not stopping Cupertino from suing them. Over charity, no less!

According to a new report, Apple Music threatened to sue Tidal for $20 million over rapper Drake’s appearance at a charity concert to benefit kids affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Page Six reports that Apple Music execs were not happy when Drake was confirmed to perform at Lil Wayne’s Lil WeezyAna festival in New Orleans last night.

Why? The event was being streamed live via Tidal, a competitor to Apple Music, but Drake has an exclusive deal with Cupertino that might be worth as much as $19 million.

Apple, therefore, reached out to Tidal, and told them that if his music was streamed live, they’d sue for $20 million.

A source told Page Six: “Legal letters have been sent to Tidal warning that Drake cannot appear on the Tidal stream of the festival, either solo or part of a group, and if the warning was ignored, the liabilities could be up to $20 million…. This event is for charity, Drake is doing two songs. Why does Apple think it can dictate to artists where and when they can perform?”

Tidal confirmed via Twitter that Drake’s two songs would be blocked from streaming on the Apple Music competitor:

Yet this may not be the truth. BuzzFeed pours some cold water over the notion that Apple threatened Tidal:

“The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal steam has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal,” Drake’s manager Future the Prince told BuzzFeed News. “Point blank, 100%. I made a business decision. Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream. The only people that have the power to do that are Cash Money and Universal, and they’re our partners.”

In other words, Tidal is spinning this into an attack on Apple Music, when it had nothing to do with them. Typical.

Source: PageSix