Is Tidal Lying About Kanye West's Insane Streaming Numbers?
Kanye West is no stranger to controversy, but he always seems to shrug it off - largely because he consistently makes hit records. But this might be a bit different.
Kanye's most recent album, The Life of Pablo was released exclusively on the streaming service Tidal, of which he is a part owner. Tidal just released the numbers for their total subscribers, as well as the streaming stats for TLOP. Tidal claims to have 3 million subscribers, which is a an impressive but believable growth rate, up from just over 500k a year ago. But things get weird when you look at the numbers for Kanye's album.
They indicate that TLOP was streamed 250 million times in the first 10 days of it's release. This sounds impressive, but maybe legit - until you consider the fact that it was a Tidal exclusive, and look at Tidal's total number of subscribers. Much like Spotify, you can only use Tidal if you have an account. This is no Soundcloud or YouTube, where any web surfer can stream with or without signing up.
For 3 million subscribers to stream the album 250 million times, every single subscriber would have to stream the album 80 times. In 10 days. Every user would need to listen to the album 8 times a day, every day, for those first 10 days.
Perhaps they are counting each song stream as an album stream, which would make the 250 million number much more believable - but this in itself feels like a dishonest way to hype the numbers. Either way, it seems like Tidal and Kanye are trying to make their exclusive release of TLOP seem a lot more successful than it really was.