The tide always seems to be going out for Tidal doesn't it?
After the much-maligned streaming service appeared to have been claiming some ground on its bigger rivals in recent months with two exclusives - Rihanna's hugely-anticipated eighth record Anti and then Kanye West's The Life of Pablo - it may now be in trouble again.
Californian man Justin Baker-Rhett has filed a lawsuit accusing Jay Z, primary owner of Tidal, and Kanye West, also a stakeholder, of lying to fans in order to get them to sign up to the service in order to hear Pablo, which Kanye himself promised would only ever be available via Tidal.
My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale... You can only get it on Tidal.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
The complaint states that "Baker-Rhett subscribed to Tidal specifically because he was misled into believing that it was the only music platform on which The Life of Pablo album would ever be available," adding that the "defendants knew that consumers would subscribe to Tidal only to get access to the new album, and in fact promoted that very fact", referring to the likes of the tweet seen below.
However, a month and a half after release, West announced that the album would be available to purchase via his website, as well as being available through the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
Following the increased availability of Pablo, Baker-Rhett cancelled his Tidal membership, but had already been charged $9.99. The complaint argues that the “Defendants reaped enormous benefits from the mass influx of new subscribers and the treasure trove of consumer data they collected from them”.
Although Baker-Rhett's damages will potentially be small, the complaint is arguing that it qualifies for a class action - with damages of at least $5m, as many other millions of people have potentially acted under the same beliefs.
You have to admit, they've got an unarguable point. The courts will decide and, as it's America, they'll definitely get it right. Right? Right?