No one likes getting tricked. Case in point: remember this tweet?
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
Was it enough to make you cave and subscribe to TIDAL’s 30-day free trial? If so, you’re one of almost 2 million subscribers that were brought onto Jay Z’s legally embroiled streaming venture off the strength of a Kanye West album alone. A Kanye fan by the name of Justin Baker-Rhett also counts himself among those roped into giving TIDAL a try. Baker-Rhett was so incensed, however, when TLOP dropped on Apple Music and Spotify on April 1 that he has gone ahead and alleged that West deliberately deceived fans in an effort to boost TIDAL’s membership numbers, as outlined in a class-action lawsuit that has been brought against West, Jay Z and TIDAL.
The lawsuit intends not only to refund users who were misled to believe they would have indefinite exclusive access to West’s latest album and who would have preferred to cancel their subscription to the service at the trial’s end; it is also striving for a major change in how subscription-based applications function. According to the lawsuit, apps should not automatically switch from free trials to paid subscriptions once they have expired, but rather they should prompt users with the option to convert their accounts.
This comes in the wake of TIDAL giving users a 30-day extension trial after West continually tinkered with the final cut of TLOP, well past the original release date and the expiration of the new users’ free trials.
If the lawsuit goes forward and TIDAL is forced to prompt users with negative renewal options, it could slow and stymie the platform’s future growth, especially if the app’s exclusive rights to certain releases continually prove themselves to be empty promises.
Do you feel duped by West and TIDAL? Let us know in the comments below.