Kanye West’s twitter rants have finally gotten him a class action suit.
A Tidal subscriber Justin Baker-Rhett filed a class-action complaint against Tidal which is Kanye and Jay Z’s S Carter Enterprises for Kanye’s tweet where the rapper tweeted, “My album will never never never be on Apple. You can only get it on Tidal”.
Baker says he and other subscribers were misled by the tweet as it was only used to inflate Tidal’s subscriber base.
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 Life of Pablo was originally exclusive to Tidal. Kanye’s tweet on the exclusivity of the album increased subscribers on Tidal’s streaming service but on April 1, The Life of Pablo hit Spotify and Apple music despite Kanye also tweeting his album “will never” be on Apple music.
Kanye West, Tidal and Jay Z are facing a false advertising lawsuit from Baker.
Baker-Rhett notes: “User data and subscriber numbers are some of the most important factors in a start-up’s prospects; Jay Z himself is currently suing the previous owners of Tidal for inflating subscriber numbers when they originally sold it to him. In addition, there’s the fact that the publicity tour for The Life of Pablo found West publicly claiming the making of the album had put him into debt, at one point even pegging the exact number at $53 million”.
Baker had done his research plus he had heard murmurs about Tidal’s financial troubles, to back his theory that ‘West and Jay Z misled consumers about Tidal’s exclusivity in order to drive up their subscriber base and enrich themselves (since both musicians have an ownership stake in the streaming service)’.
Before Tidal went to other streaming services, Kanye’s tweet on exclusivity helped get the service get up to 3 million subscribers according to its March service report.
Though majority of the subscribers were ‘free trials’, Baker insists subscribers were made to provide payment information to Tidal.
Baker’s lawsuit read:
“Once a consumer completes the sign up process and starts using the service, Tidal begins collecting a massive amount of analytics data, user habits, and browsing history.
By increasing their user base multiple times over, Tidal is able to create valuable usage information to aid them in better monetizing their site as well sharing with or selling that information to third parties (such as record labels, artists on its platform, and other media companies).
As a result of their misrepresentations, each Defendant, as a stakeholder of Tidal, benefited from having their shares of Tidal increase in value.”
Baker’s lawsuit which was filed to the U.S. District Court of northern California, is requesting:
(a) certification as a class-action (potentially including anyone in California who bought a Tidal subscription during its month-and-a-half exclusive access to The Life of Pablo),
(b)that the plaintiffs be awarded both actual and punitive damages,
and (c) that Tidal be forced to delete all personal user data acquired during that time period.
Kanye’s twitter has been silent for a bit. Next time, he will ask ten people to proofread his tweets or comments before hitting send.