Kanye ties the new album exclusively to the Stem Player device

Kanye West’s new album, Donda 2, is due to be released on February 22, but will not be released on traditional streaming services. Instead, it will only be available on the Stem Player device that it released in conjunction with Donda Album in August 2021.

“Donda 2 will only be available on my own Stem Player platform,” he wrote on his official Instagram account. “Not on Apple Amazon Spotify or YouTube.”

He suggested this mainly in protest of the traditional streaming revenue model, which he said is very damaging to musicians and songwriters. “Today, artists get only 12% of the money the industry earns,” he said. “It’s time to free music from this depressed system. It’s time to take control and build your own. “

The West sent people to the official Stem Player site if they want to order an album. The device costs $ 200.

Stem Player is essentially a music service rolled into a portable round device (which is a bit like a smart Google Home speaker crossed with a hockey puck). Also the landing page of Stem Player is reproduced on the home page of West’s own website.

The distinctive feature of the player is that it allows users to interact with the tracks during their playback, with four channels that can flip or lower different parts of the track (using the trunks) to get the sound they need.

All of this has echoed trends since the early 2000s, when bands released snippets of tracks and offered them to fans, usually as part of a remix contest, with Radiohead is one of the greatest artists who has experimented here several times.

There was also a brief flurry of activity around browser-based interactive remixes that presented it as a new type of music format with MXP4 is one of the most famous examples. However, it was, by definition, an incredibly niche activity and was never going to be the dominant way of consuming music. It was good for competitions or interactive fan marketing, but it was never going to go far beyond that.

This makes West’s moves even more intriguing. It positions Stem Player as about empowering the performer, in addition to interacting fans.

In this sense, the ghost of Pon player Neil Young raises his head. What was a phenomenal success originally as a Kickstarter project back in 2014increase more than $ 6 million in mortgages to lift it off the ground, after that, steam seemed to fall steadily. Empowering the performer was a happy by-product of Pon’s central idea, but Young did sell it as an improved sound to the listener. At the time, this audiophile strategy floated against the general flow of streaming, which was more about convenience than about sound. Now, however, several services offer high-definition streaming as standard.

West’s claim that Stem Player pays better to artists and musicians who refuse to install streaming services, both briskly and vaguely. His claim that artists get “only 12% of the money the industry earns” in broadcasting is just too opaque to be really useful.

Licensing rates for performers will vary greatly depending on the agreement they entered into with their record label, if the transaction has been rescheduled, whether they pay off or not (and labels) moving office to change on payback imbalance) if they are in major or independent label, if they self-producewhen they use a label company and so on. In the world of streaming, there is no single license rate for performers, as there was no single deal in the days of CDs and records.

His statement may also be a subtle dis aimed at Tidal. It was the name of the restart of the niche Scandinavian WiMP streaming service when Project Panther Bidco (led by Jay-Z) acquired it in 2015 for $ 54 million. Major names such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Madonna, Deadmau5, Jack White and West himself, got bets on the service and it was presented as a car owned by an artist who will pay higher rates.

Many of them tents offered exclusivesespecially Beyonce Lemonade album and own West Pablo’s life album. It was about a release to which he returned and reworked several times, adding and subtracting trackswhich means it existed in a constant state for listeners.

Despite high-profile names and an incredible level of media hype, Tidal did not become the blockbuster he aspired to become. Jay-Z eventually broke his own exclusive rule and returned his music to Spotify in 2019. West ended his Tidal exclusive even faster by releasing Pablo’s life on several streaming services in April 2016.

Jay-Z’s interest in Tidal seemed to weaken eventually to sell a majority stake in Square (a mobile payment company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey) in March 2021 for $ 297 million.

Perhaps Stem Player is simultaneously a compression of all the utopian ideas underlying Tidal when it was launched, as well as a critique of its inability to implement them on a scale that would have led to Spotify and Apple Music.

Any steps by artists to regain more autonomy (and more money) from the traditional music business are to be commended. The release of the album, which is only available on a portable device, costs $ 200, however, significantly reduces the number of people who want to hear it this way and for that price.

Perhaps West doesn’t care about volume and what drives them principle. When Donda 2 it will be an extreme revolution, it will most likely only be on the extreme.

Kanye ties the new album exclusively to the Stem Player device

Source link Kanye ties the new album exclusively to the Stem Player device

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