Jay Z Is About To Go To War With Apple Over Tidal

Jay Z’s month-old new streaming service, Tidal, has a powerful enemy. Its name is Apple Inc. and shots have already been fired in the battle over streaming.

Music industry insiders told the New York Post that Apple has been purposely messing with Jay Z’s new business venture in an effort to squash it ahead of the launch Apple’s Beats Music in June.

Last week, most news outlets were reporting that Tidal had dropped out of the top 700 most popular apps on iTunes. The news of Tidal’s monumental plunge went viral, and the hashtag #TIDALForNone trended on Twitter.

It’s hard to pick out just one reason why Tidal is failing. http://t.co/G9WkP25Up4 via @JHWeissmann #TIDALforNOONE pic.twitter.com/rwLy1D3J9D

— Liberation Iannillo (@liberationnyc) April 23, 2015

Rankings in the iTunes app charts is driven by downloads, and according to the Post’s insider source, Apple deliberately delayed approving Tidal for the iOS app store. Android, on the other hand, made Tidal available on April 15.

Apple has also threatened artists who want to release their music to Tidal exclusively, the insider expert claimed. These threats are coming from the company’s highest executives, namely Robert Kondrk, Apple’s vice president of iTunes Content.

“Robert told execs at Universal Music Group that Rihanna and other Tidal artists’ music would not be promoted as featured artists on iTunes if they put exclusive music out on Tidal,” the source said.

Rihanna’s music has been the first casualty so far in the war between Jay Z and Apple. According to the insider source, when the Bajan superstar released her new song “American Oxygen” exclusively on Tidal, her music on iTunes started to experience technical issues.

“Rihanna’s songs were scrambled and were out of commission for periods of time,” the source claimed.

A rep for Apple has denied the accusations.

Insiders still say that what Kondrk is threatening is a standard practice in the music industry.

“That is normal operating procedure. If an artist chooses to market content exclusively with another rival retailer, no company is going to market or push content from that artist that hard.”

There were lots of Sony artists at the Tidal media launch, like Beyonce. However, Sony Music has refused to grant Tidal a license to stream from the artists. Sony Music head Doug Morris has demanded $35 million in advance and $20 million per year. This could mean that the rumors of a possible Jay Z and Beyonce joint-album release on Tidal are mere fairy tales. A rep for Sony Music declined to comment.

Although Complex.com reports that fellow shareholder Kanye West has removed all of his tweets that mention Tidal, Jay Z has used Twitter to respond to some of the negative press his brand has been receiving.

Though Tidal looks like a flop right now, only time will tell whether Jay Z will be seen as a hero or a zero based its success or lack thereof.