Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge:
If you opened up Tidal last night, you would have found it streaming Lil Wayne’s Lil Weezyana Fest in New Orleans. That is, up until Drake came on. As Drake took the stage for a brief set, Tidal cut its stream and put up a message. “Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream,” it said. “Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience.”[…]
According to BuzzFeed News, Apple had no say in Drake’s stream being cut. The report says that Apple did not threaten to sue Tidal over the appearance — it supposedly didn’t even know that the event was going on. Instead, Drake’s manager says that it was “100 percent” his decision not to stream the performance. “Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream,” his manager says. Drake’s camp apparently didn’t want his set streamed because they were unable to ensure that it “represented us in the right way.”[…]
Tidal maintains that what it said is right. In a statement, Tidal says that it has the paper trail to prove its side, although it’s seemingly declining to publish it: “We have all the email receipts and written correspondence that took place with said, blocked performance,” Tidal writes in a statement provided to The Verge.
I get that Apple has been the 800 pound gorilla in the world of digital music for over a decade now, and many people seeing Tidal’s message won’t question that Apple had a hand in this, but this seems like a desperate attempt to stay relevant for a struggling service. Drake could be covering for Apple, but then why won’t Tidal show its paper trail?