Present Kanye West can’t seem to get out of future Kanye West’s way. Today, the hip hop artist swore off CDs and pledged to never again distribute music using a physical format — “only streaming.”
Kanye is undoubtedly a trendsetter but what’s unclear is just how far into the future these trends will actually come to fruition.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), last year was the first on record that digital distribution surpassed that of physical formats. This came after 2014 which saw the two formats reach parity for the first time.
There’s no doubt the vast majority of music will be sold, or streamed, digitally in the near future, but we’re still several years out from the CD being completely irrelevant to an artist’s bottom line.
Most businesses operate under the assumption that more business is a good thing, but what Kanye suggests is essentially shutting the door on nearly half of all music purchases.
Then again, Kanye West isn’t exactly known for shrewd financial sense. After all, he did just announce to the world that he’s $53 million in debt before asking for $1 billion from Mark Zuckerberg.
Or, there’s that time where he basically invited pirates to steal his recent “Life of Pablo” release by not providing a legal means to buy it, or offer additional options outside of Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal, a service which many deem to be a complete disaster.
The smart roads point to more options rather than fewer, but as we all known by now, Kanye is going to continue being Kanye.
➤ Kanye West vows ‘no more CDs’ [Engadget]