Kanye West's unorthodox rollout for The Life of Pablo was a huge success for Tidal. However, it sounds like not all of Kanye's fans were satisfied with the way it all played out, especially the "exclusivity" part of it. According to the Associated Press, Justin Baker-Rhett has filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco in which he claims the rapper tricked him and millions of other fans into signing up for Tidal to receive The Life of Pablo, which at the time was promoted as an exclusive for the streaming service that costs $9.99 a month.
He points out that a few days after the project was released, Kanye announced on Twitter that it would never be for sale and that it would not be available on Apple Music, only Tidal. The following week, it was reported that Tidal's subscriptions doubled from one million users to 2.5 million, a huge windfall for the company. Later on, Tidal released a report stating the album was streamed over 250 million times in its first 10 days of release. Fast forward to now, and The Life of Pablo is available for streaming on both Apple Music and Spotify and also up for purchase.
"We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a license to mislead the public," wrote Jay Edelson, Baker-Rhett's attorney, in a statement. "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." Tidal is also listed in the lawsuit.
Baker-Rhett requests that a judge order Tidal to delete all information collected on users who signed up for the streaming service to receive Kanye's latest album. According to the lawsuit, "Mr. West's promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy," with users' credit card information and other personal information taken. The lawsuit claims the value of all the personal information from subscribers could amount to $84 million for Tidal. We reached out to a rep for Kanye and Tidal and will update when more information is available.