Jay-Z owned streaming service TIDAL has finally revealed the streaming numbers for Kanye West‘s The Life Of Pablo.
It’s a lot. Like, a LOT.
As reported by Billboard, Tidal, who celebrate their first anniversary tomorrow, reckon that Kanye’s album was streamed more than 250 million times in the first ten days alone.
Now, that is huge, particularly considering the exclusivity of the Tidal-only release and the absolute trainwreck of a disaster that has been the botched release of ‘Ye’s seventh studio album.
Look. We’re calling bullshit. Not to say they’re outright purposefully lying (although they may well be,) but it seems incredibly likely that they’re twisting their numbers in some way. It simply does not seem realistic that TLOP was streamed that many times on a platform so small that Spotify earned nearly double Tidal’s total subscribers in the past three months alone. And let’s be real – who do you know who uses it compared to Spotify or Apple Music?
For comparison, Justin Bieber‘s Purpose was streamed 205 million times in its first week on Spotify last year, a platform which enjoys around 100 million subscribers, 30 million of which pay for the service. Additionally, as DJ Booth point out, Adele‘s blockbuster Hello video was streamed 250 million times on Youtube, a completely free service that doesn’t make you create an account, in two weeks.
Compared to Spotify’s 30 million paid subscribers, Tidal boasts a tighter 3 million (45% of which apparently opt for the hi-fidelity option at double the price, USD $19.99). Tidal also claims that TLOP single-handedly doubled their subscriber base, but maybe some of them are like me who forgot to cancel the subscription once my free trial ran out, and accidentally paid for a second month.
Even so, with three million subscribers, that means every single person signed up had to listen to the album at least four times a day, every day, for ten days.
Perhaps it’s possible that the 250 million streams were achieved if Tidal saw a MASSIVE influx of people signing up for a free month, but these users technically shouldn’t count as paid subscribers. Because, you know, they didn’t pay.
It may well be true, and well done to Kanye if it is. It’s a gorgeous album, certainly far better than Bieber’s! It’s just a really, really, really big number for a platform with a relatively tiny customer base.
Edit: A source close to the situation has informed us that the reported streaming numbers are correct as these figures allow the artist to get paid accordingly.
Our initial post also mentioned that it was off to see such astronomical numbers after Tidal had ferociously refused to reveal the TLOP streaming numbers (which is atypical as they have published streaming numbers for other releases), but the source asked us to clarify that it was actually Kanye, not Tidal, who was responsible for that.
In related news, West had previously stated that TLOP would only ever be available on Tidal. However, it is now available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify.