Kanye West loves awards and accolades, but there won't be any this time around for his latest album The Life Of Pablo.
West's new LP was made available to stream exclusively on TIDAL and, for a $20 purchase, on his website. A day after its wobbly release, West removed the option to buy it and announced it won't be available anywhere but TIDAL. This forced over 500,000 illegal downloads on Torrent sites (Kanye is looking into legal action) and a noticeable absence from this week's Billboard 200 chart.
Billboard’s vice president of charts and data development told the New York Times in a new statement: “Billboard has been informed that Tidal is not currently reporting streams for tracks on Kanye’s album to Nielsen Music. Therefore streams from Tidal for this title will not contribute to Billboard’s chart rankings at this time.”
Future artists will certainly think twice before joining TIDAL to distribute their music. Before Pablo, Rihanna made her latest album ANTi exclusive to Jay Z's platform and handed out a million free download codes which allowed the album to get a Platinum certification overnight and eventually land at No. 1 on the 200. Will Pablo share a similar fate? Probably not, considering Rihanna did allow other streaming giants like Spotify to stream it. West has made it clear he doesn't want it anywhere but TIDAL and prefers it that way. Last year, West told the crowd at the Governors Ball, “when I listen to radio, that ain’t where I wanna be no more, and honestly, at this point I can give a fuck about selling a million records, as long as I put out an album y’all can rock to all summer.”
Mission accomplished. And in other news... Adele's 25 is No. 1 again.