Written by: Jacob Kelley, AAE of Bruce’s Place
What’s a new album release to a god? Apparently not much. If you have been on the internet this past week then you have no doubt heard about Kanye West’s new album, The Life of Pablo.
With so much hype being built over social media, one would have thought this album would blow up in a good way. Unfortunately for Kanye, this album
release is one of the worst in my recent memory, and isnothing short of a PR nightmare.
So where did Ye go wrong? Well for starters, he decided to ‘release’ his album exclusively on Tidal.
Tidal is Jay-z’s music streaming service, and it does not have any type of free-listening model such as Spotify, so this already cuts out a large portion of people who do not want to pay or sign up for anything in order to listen. By cutting out so many fans, his image degrades and people start to lose respect as they see it as just another barrier that they have to overcome in order to enjoy their favorite artists’ new album.
Many people consider Tidal to be sort of a dead music streaming platform, so it is obvious that he must be trying to bring some life back into it, but by releasing his album only on Tidal, people will just find ways to listen to his album without having to sign up and pay for a service they don’t want.
This is evident through the fact that if you go onto Pirate Bay, there is countless links that allow you to download The Life of Pablo, for free! Since it’s release, The Life of Pablo has been pirated over 500,000 times, and it has only been about a week. So, not only has Kanye made it so that people can’t listen to his album for free, but he is driving away sales by coercing people into obtaining the album through pirating.
All of this can only hurt Kanye West’s image in the public eye. The Ye fans will nab the album through pirating, and start to think less of their favorite rapper, and Ye haters will use this as a reason to dislike him even more.
So at the end of the day, it seems that releasing albums as an exclusive deal to certain platforms, and making such a big deal about it over social media is not the right call if you want to release the number one album of all time.