TIDAL blames Apple for banning stream of Drake concert at charity event … but Apple had nothing to do with it


As part of a charity music event raising money for children affected by Hurricane Katrina, Apple Music rival TIDAL streamed the event live on its website. However, when Drake took the stage to perform his set, the stream was abruptly paused. A message from TIDAL said that Apple had banned Drake from allowing his performance to be broadcast online, with TIDAL saying that Apple is “interfering with artistry” and apologizing for the “big brother” influence.

TIDAL made similar claims on its Twitter feed but it turns out these claims are simply untrue. Although it is true that Apple has an exclusivity deal with Drake for his new album, the contract does not stop Drake from streaming live performances. Buzzfeed confirmed that Apple had nothing to do with the censoring of the stream.


Buzzfeed asked Drake’s management for a clarification. It turns out that Drake’s manager made a business decision to not allow the stream, completely independent of the Apple Music deal.

“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.”

It’s not clear why TIDAL is pointing blame at Apple when it didn’t have anything to do with it. There is a chance it was a misunderstanding and TIDAL misinterpreted the reason why Drake opted out of the stream, or maybe the Apple Music rival saw it as an opportunity to put some bad press Apple’s way. Drake’s manager is as confused as anyone else:

“I don’t understand,” Future said. “If you’re going to say something about the situation publicly, you should tell the truth. They saw the opportunity to take a situation and spin it in their favor as a publicity stunt.”

Despite this, right now TIDAL has not made any retractions and the accusatory tweets remain on the company feed.


FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. vandy75 - 7 years ago

    If it weren’t for the media coverage, only the 3 TIDAL subscribers would know anything about this. TIDAL is over…the wave has passed…the tsunami missed it’s target. RIP.

  2. airmanchairman - 7 years ago

    Basely done!

  3. AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

    You only play dirty when you’re losing.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      NO, some do play dirty when they are “winning”. They all play dirty when they can. Some are just better at it than others. It’s all how they market their dirtiness and the perception of their dirtiness. :-)

  4. Over or Under, let’s go. When will Tidal close up shop? It’s coming, there’s no room for this player in this market.

  5. Jonathan Smyth - 7 years ago

    Sounds like Apple has grounds for a defamation lawsuit, which might be the end of Tidal.

  6. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    Let’s think about this. If Apple signed an exclusivity contract with Drake so that his content is exclusive to Apple, then Drake violated the contract if he performed and his performance was done through Tidal. Then Drake is in contract violation. This is just conjecture if Apple had an exclusivity contract and Drake’s performance was in violation.

    • robertsm76 - 7 years ago

      This. Apple did have something to do with it. Tidal probably told drakes manager we are going to stream your set and Drakes manager probably couldn’t stop Tidal so Apple stepped in. Only scenario that makes sense since Apple threatened to sue Tidal.

      • samuelsnay - 7 years ago

        You seem to know more about this deal than Drake’s own manager. How’d you manage to get so much information? Let me guess: It’s 100% derived from your rectum.

      • 89p13 - 7 years ago

        ” It turns out that Drake’s manager made a business decision to not allow the stream, completely independent of the Apple Music deal.”

        Reading Pwns You. Next time – Read the Whole Post!

        Let’s move on – just another moron there!

      • jnuneznj - 7 years ago

        It’s not on Apple to enforce the exclusivity. It’s up to Drake (not his managers). Drake hires his managers to handle this and they made the decision.

    • Smigit - 7 years ago

      “Although it is true that Apple has an exclusivity deal with Drake for his new album”

      Key words there are ‘new album’. For a charity gig he could have played his back catalogue, or likely even content from the new album as long as the album itself doesn’t become available for streaming.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.