Kanye West devoted lots of tweets to telling us how his album was going to be TIDAL-exclusive.
Yet, only a few days ago, one of the songs off the album, Famous silently popped up on Apple Music. Now, the entire album has appeared on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Deezer, ready to be streamed by all and sundry.
Thing is, Kanye’s latest effort can’t be described as an…album in the conventional sense of the word. It’s almost like the real product here is Music-as-a-Service. He hasn’t recorded a bunch of songs and chucked them in a folder for people to download, no. I think that’s a modus operandi for a time that’s past.
Kanye understands that consumers are beginning to favour access over ownership (if you doubt this statement, look for a chart comparing music sales versus streaming numbers over the last 5 years, or ask me for one), so the music isn’t what he’s is selling, no. It’s the experience of watching this album develop over time from something disruptive/jarring to a homogenous, finished body of work, and I think he’s finally hit that sweet spot.
Know how I know I’m right? The testimonies have already started rolling in.
Kanye West – #TLOP
Version 1.3.1, 150.76 MB
– Reverb added.
– Mixed for optimal listening experience.
– Bug fixes and minor improvements.
— Meelz 💪🏾 (@MeelzTV) March 31, 2016
But don’t expect even this to be static. Def Jam has said that in the months to come, Kanye will release new updates, new versions and new iterations of the album. He’s basically challenged the idea of the “album” as we know it, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, I think that’s genius.
P.S. Oh, and you can finally delete the TIDAL app.
— Nadir Tekarli (@NadirTekarli) April 1, 2016