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This article was published on February 16, 2016

Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’ already pirated 500,000 times

Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’ already pirated 500,000 times
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Kanye West’s new album ‘The Life of Pablo’ may have been released as exclusive to Jay-Z’s streaming music service Tidal, but it didn’t stay that way for long.

The BBC reports today that West’s new album has over 500,000 pirated copies in circulation and is at the top of the download charts on The Pirate Bay.

Piracy is at historic lows, but if current trends continue ‘The Life of Pablo’ stands to be one of the most ripped off albums of all time. You have to wonder if the strategy to forego popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music —  in favor of a platform many deemed to be a complete failure — was the linchpin for the spark in piracy.

After all, listeners can’t even purchase the album if they wanted to. When you take away the option to buy and force listeners to subscribe to a platform they may not even like, you’re essentially asking them to:

  1. Drop the $10 subscription elsewhere and subscribe to Tidal for one album — or —
  2. Keep both subscriptions, which is really asking them to pay $10 a month for a Kanye album and then $10 a month for the rest of their music and playlists elsewhere

‘The Life of Pablo’ won’t save Tidal, but decisions like these could lead more users away from streaming music and back into pirating it.

But for now:

Kanye West album ‘pirated 500,000 times’ already [BBC]

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