In the latest chapter of the music streaming wars, Tidal claims that Apple blocked the music platform from streaming a live Drake performance at last weekend’s Lil Weezyana Festival. While Drake’s manager, Future the Prince, told Buzzfeed that the artist’s team — not Apple — decided against allowing the performance to be streamed, Tidal has not removed the tweets blaming Apple, likening the service to Big Brother, the famously fascist regime of the Orwell’s 1984.
1/2 Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience.
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) August 29, 2015
In addition, the New York Post reported that Apple threatened a $20 million suit if Tidal did indeed stream the rapper’s performance on Friday night. “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,” said a source to the Post’s Page Six. “And if the warning was ignored, the liabilities could be up to $20 million.”
Drake’s management told Buzzfeed that these claims were false, explaining that Apple doesn’t have the rights to stop the artist 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,” said Drake’s manager Future. “… 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.”
When asked for comment by The Verge, Tidal held steady on its original allegations. “We have all the email receipts and written correspondence that took place with said, blocked performance,” wrote the streamer in a statement.
We’re not sure which party is correct but Drake’s alliances certainly lie with Apple Music: the artist not only appeared on stage during Apple Music’s launch, but he also passed on a deal with Tidal to sign a $19 million contract DJing on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Internet radio service.