Music piracy is having a field day in the wake of Kanye West’s messy new album launch. Kanye had initially begun selling the album as a download through his own site, but later decided that he would rather make it exclusive to his personal music streaming service Tidal. Naturally, the album has now been pirated a record number of times.
The issue with Kanye’s The Life of Pablo isn’t so much that it happens to be exclusive to Tidal; rather that many who managed to buy it through the site have not received their download link. It turns out that these unlucky customers have had their credit cards charged, but have no received their purchase. Customer service has promised that they will be provided the music in the coming weeks, but most have instead opted for refunds. This leaves fans who don’t want to subscribe to another music streaming service in a bind.
TorrentFreak, which tracks piracy numbers, says that this mess has contributed to TLoP being one of the most pirated albums of all time. The file was downloaded 500,000 times in the first day; with some 10,000 people sharing the same file simultaneously. These numbers do not include those who have downloaded the album through direct download links. TF claims that it has not seen these kinds of numbers for an album release before; which kind of shows what happens when an artist tries to make it difficult to give them money.
It is assumed that Tidal has gained thousands of new subscribers through this fiasco, although there are no hard numbers to prove this. We’re not even certain if most of these people would start paying the subscription fee once their month long trial ends.
That being said, Kanye is determined to get people to use Tidal; and has even said that he will not be selling his new album anywhere else. For fans, the choices seem to be to go along with Kanye’s plan – or hoist the Jolly Roger. Right now, it looks like most are going with the more convenient option.
[Source: Torrent Freak]