The popular music artist Drake, who signed an exclusive deal with Apple Music earlier this year, had his streaming performance for a charity concert blocked by the Tidal service on Friday night. Tidal claims Apple forced them to block Drake's set, but his manager says he made the decision.
Drake sang a couple of songs at Lil Wayne's Lil WeezyAna Fest in New Orleans Friday night, which supports Tha Carter Fund, an organization that helps kids that were affected by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. According to Page Six:
Lawyers were called in because the event was being streamed live via Tidal — and Drake has an exclusive deal with Apple Music said to be worth up to $19 million. Sources say the tech giant threatened to sue for $20 million if Drake appeared, or if his music was streamed live, on Tidal.
In the end, Drake's performance at the concert was indeed blocked by Tidal's service. Instead, the livestream posted the following message: "Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother's inconvenience."
However, BuzzFeed got a hold of Drake's manager, who flat out denied any involvement by Apple in the incident:
""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 News. "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."
Future added that he felt Tidal tried to use their decision and "spin it in their favor as a publicity stunt". It would seem that these two rival streaming music services are definitely at odds with each other at this point