After Apple Music launch, fans sue Kanye West over Tidal exclusivity promise


After bringing his new album to Apple Music and Spotify, fans are suing Kanye West claiming they purchased subscriptions to West-backed music app Tidal on the promise the album would be exclusive to the service.

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The report from Associated Press notes the lawsuit is a proposed class action filed in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco. It claims Tidal could have benefited as much as $84 million from new subscribers through the promotion and exclusivity promise for West’s new album Life of Pablo.

“Mr. West’s promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy,” the lawsuit states, noting that users’ credit card information, music preferences and other personal information have been collected… “We believe that we will be able to prove to a jury that Mr. West and Tidal tricked millions of people into subscribing to their services and that they will ultimately be held accountable for what they did.”

Perhaps the most notable piece of evidence is a tweet from West himself, part of a longer series of rants during the launch of the album, where the artist claimed the album would “never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.”

While Tidal already said the album was streamed around 250 million times in just over its first week of release, the lawsuit claims the service also gained around 2 million new subscribers. Tidal costs $10/month for an individual subscription.

And Tidal recently launched a lawsuit of its own over subscriber figures, with a report last month claiming owner Jay Z is going after the previous owners of Tidal seeking compensation for over reporting the true number of subscribers to the service.

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  1. viciosodiego - 7 years ago

    His music sucks.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      Because his stupid fans bought Tidal thinking that’s the only place they can listen to his music.

      • Ron Cardi (@ROYG_B) - 7 years ago

        Stupid fans? Kanye West has created some very artistic, creative, and powerful music over the last decade. Songs like Hey Mama, Diamonds from Sierra Leone, Bring Me Down, Gold Digger, Love Lockdown, etc. etc. are just a few examples of some of his iconic work. One of his best songs IMO, “Roses” was about all the stresses in the hospital when his aunt/grandma was in critical condition. How many other artists write about that?

        Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is (yet again) singing all about boys and relationships…. yet she still manages to impress everyone with her spectacular song-writing abilities..

      • again.. WHY?

    • viciosodiego - 7 years ago

      Oh wait, you can sue anyone for pretty much anything in the US.

  2. iSRS - 7 years ago

    People are sue happy. Stop wasting the courts time.

  3. encogneato - 7 years ago

    Hashtag KanyeIdeas

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


  5. Alan Aurmont - 7 years ago

    The People v. J.Z.
    I hope the people win this time.

  6. Q: Who sucks worse than Kanye West?

    A: His fans!

  7. BTW, 9to5 not only once, but TWICE got the facts wrong about Jay-Z’s lawsuit. Why would anyone sue for a previous owner UNDER-reporting subscriber figures? They wouldn’t because that would undervalue the service and have enabled Jay-Z to spend less money.

    He’s suing because the previous owners OVER-reporting the subscriber numbers. You guys really need to read what you’re writing at least ONCE.

  8. Jonathan Smyth - 7 years ago

    As long as his music is still available on Tidal, his fans have not been harmed in any way. The value of their subscription has not been diminished, so they have no grounds for a lawsuit. I predict it will be thrown out.

    • darwiniandude - 7 years ago

      Why even have a stupid tidal subscription if you can get the content from the usual channels? If Taylor Swift suddenly appeared on Spotify, some would be annoyed they’d signed up for Apple Music just for that.

  9. crichton007 - 7 years ago

    If he is $50 million in the hole there’s not much left to go around!

  10. Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

    Screw this thug. No one cares. His “music” sucks.

  11. mannyleaders - 7 years ago

    Wow. People are still letting celebrities tell them what to buy and how? I’m a fan of Adele but because her recent album wasn’t released on my service of choice I said “oh well” and found something else to listen to.

  12. If you are a “Fan” of this character so much to so much as to listen to anything that comes out of his mouth, then duh.. you got what you deserve..


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.