From a star-studded launch through today, TIDAL has a PR problem. Sadly, the first music streaming service whose stated goal was empowering artists has repeatedly misjudged the effects of both its words and actions.
TIDAL was live streaming a charity event raising money for children hurt by Hurricane Katrina, but blocked Drake’s performance putting up the message that Apple had banned Drake from allowing his performance to be broadcast online .
“Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience,” Tidal tweeted and posted in place of Drake’s performance.
The real reason that Drake’s performance was banned was a business decision made by his manager, and had nothing to do with Apple.
“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. “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… We wanted to make sure the stream represented us in the right way, and we didn’t have much insight into what they were doing. Aesthetics and quality are important to us and we didn’t have any control over that or time to investigate it. We were just there to participate in the benefit.”
Why did Tidal add the anti-Apple spin?
“I don’t understand,” said Future. “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.”