What does exclusivity means these days? Nothing, everything or almost everything is available anywhere, it is a word of the past, so why using it? Why saying some company will have the exclusivity when you will see the product about everywhere? And this is even truer for music.
According to the LA Times, Justin Baker-Rhett, a Kanye West fan, has sued the rapper over his claim that Tidal would have the exclusivity of his new album, ‘The Life of Pablo’. Of course, the album has become available about everywhere, on West’s own web site as well as on iTunes, Spotify and other streaming services.
The lawsuit, against ‘S. Carter Enterprises LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and Kanye West, an individual, together [doing business as] Tidal’, claims that 2 million subscribers signed up for Tidal after West tweeted in February that ‘My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.’ Kanye is a liar…
Here is a statement from Baker-Rhett’s lawyer:
‘We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a license to mislead the public. 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.’
And he has a point! These fans may have been very naïve but the claim certainly misled them. The album reached No 1 on the Billboard 200 chart this month, and Spotify and its 50 million streams certainly helped. But the lawsuit mostly is after Tidal. Here is more from it:
‘Mr. West’s unequivocal declaration of Tidal’s exclusive access to his album had a profound impact on Tidal’s business. New subscriptions to the streaming platform skyrocketed, tripling its consumer base from 1 million to 3 million subscribers in just over a month. According to Tidal, ‘The Life of Pablo’ was streamed 250 million times in the first 10 days.’
‘Using [publicly] available acquisitions as a comparable metric, the two million new users acquired as a result of its purportedly exclusive access to ‘The Life of Pablo’ are worth as much as $84 million to Tidal’
Basically, the suit alleges that this false exclusivity saved Tidal from failure as the service was on the brink of collapse not so long ago.
And to better prove their point, they also quote Kanye talking about his endless appetite for money
‘Yes I am personally rich and I can buy furs and houses for my family…but I need access to more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world…If I spent my money on my ideas I could not afford to take care of my family. I am in a place that so many artist end up…Also for anyone that has money they know the first rule is to use other people’s money.’
But Kanye says so many things! So far his camp has not commented on the lawsuit.
“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment.”
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