The Life of Pablo is a Tidal exclusive because Kanye West is in debt

  • Sanshey Biswas, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2016 13:31 IST
Kanye West also tweeted to Larry Page but as usual, didn’t use ‘@’ because he’s sure the tweet will reach him without it (Tidal)

Kanye West took to Twitter to make the announcement that his latest album — The Life of Pablo — will never be on Apple or on sale. The only way to access his music will be on Jay Z’s Tidal — a subscription-based music steaming service that claims to pay the highest royalty to artists.

West, who desperately needs money after funding expensive creative projects, is following an industry trend where more and more artists are opting for streaming services despite lower royalties as record sales continue to fall. The Beatles gave in last year and the only holdouts are country queen Taylor Swift who doesn’t want her music on Spotify and Prince, who sues anyone uploading his music on YouTube.

The Jay Z-owned streaming service, Tidal, has the backing of several artists but failed to gather traction for its premium pricing and limited offering. However, the entire Kanye West and The Life of Pablo saga helped the Tidal app reach the top of App Store. But, for it to stay there and beat Apple Music in popularity and preference, will take a bit more.

West has said his next album with Kendrick Lamar and Young Thug will also be a Tidal exclusive. The album has 40 tracks with each of the artists.

Sticking to Tidal to make his music available seems to have more to do with the high royalty on offer when compared to Apple Music or Spotify. Prior to his performance on Saturday Night Live, West tweeted he was facing a debt of $53 million. Since then, he has used Twitter to ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (who isn’t on Twitter) for some monetary help.

West insisted the world’s sixth richest man called him the following day to invest $1 billion in “Kanye West ideas”. Kanye West has been heavily investing in his own creative projects which can be expensive. Usually artists hold tours and do guest performances to get the cash flowing but West doesn’t seem to want anything to do with usual. He also tweeted to Larry Page but as usual, didn’t use ‘@’ because he’s sure the tweet will reach him without it.

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