It’s Official: Kanye West’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’ Hits #1

Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo Hits #1
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The music industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with the rise of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. The shift from traditional album sales to streaming has been accompanied by a change in the way music charts are compiled. Billboard, the most trusted music chart in the US, has adapted to the new era by incorporating streaming figures into its album rankings. This move has led to some interesting changes in the way artists promote and distribute their music.

One such artist is Kanye West, who released his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo, in February 2016. The album was initially exclusive to Tidal, the streaming service owned by West’s friend and collaborator, Jay-Z. This move was controversial, as it meant that fans who did not subscribe to Tidal could not legally access the album. However, it also had the effect of driving up Tidal’s subscriber numbers, as fans rushed to sign up to hear the album.

The Life of Pablo was a critical and commercial success, with many critics hailing it as one of West’s best works to date. However, it was not until April 2016 that the album hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart. This was due in part to the fact that Billboard had recently started incorporating streaming figures into its rankings. The Life of Pablo had been streamed millions of times on Tidal, and this was finally being taken into account.

Nielsen Music, which tracks album sales and streaming figures, reported that The Life of Pablo earned 94,000 album units in the week ending April 7th. Of these, 28,000 were solid album sales, and the remainder came from streaming. This meant that approximately 70 percent of Kanye’s equivalent album sales were from streaming services. This was a significant milestone for Kanye West, as it marked his seventh album to hit number one on the Billboard 200 charts.

So how did Kanye West manage to achieve such success with The Life of Pablo? There were several factors at play. Firstly, the Tidal exclusive helped to generate buzz and excitement around the album. Fans who were eager to hear the album had to sign up to Tidal, which helped to drive up subscriber numbers. This move also helped to differentiate the album from other releases, as it was not available on other streaming services.

However, the Tidal exclusive was not the only factor in the album’s success. Kanye West also modified the album several times after its initial release. He added and removed tracks, changed lyrics, and made other tweaks to the album. This had the effect of generating renewed interest in the album, as fans re-streamed it to hear the changes. This helped to keep the album in the public eye and contributed to its longevity on the charts.

Finally, Kanye West made the album widely available on other streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. This move helped to reach a wider audience and made it easier for fans to legally access the album. It also helped to generate further streams and sales for the album, as fans who had not subscribed to Tidal could now legally listen to it.

In conclusion, Kanye West’s success with The Life of Pablo is a testament to the changing landscape of the music industry. Streaming services have become a vital part of the way music is consumed and distributed, and artists are adapting their strategies to take advantage of this. By making the album a Tidal exclusive, modifying it after release, and making it widely available on other streaming services, Kanye West was able to generate buzz and excitement around the album and reach a wider audience. This, in turn, helped to propel the album to number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

(Image by Jason Persse, Creative Commons, Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, cc by-sa 2.0)

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Funny it wouldn’t have made #1 if Tidal hadn’t reported month-old download sales all together this week

  2. Shamoozey

    Its not enough to be good at your craft, but you must be good at marketing too!
    Like him or not, Kanye West is a shining example of thinking outside the box