In what shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, the launch of Kanye West's latest album, The Life of Pablo, exclusively through music streaming service Tidal has lead to a massive wave of piracy.
TorrentFreak is reporting that The Life of Pablo has already been illegally downloaded more than 500,000 times on just the first day after its launch. On various popular torrent sites around the web, the album is topping the list of music torrents by a significant margin, with more than 10,000 people sharing the most popular version at any one time.
While many highly anticipated albums typically get pirated in large numbers shortly after their release, TorrentFreak says that they haven't seen this level of piracy for a single album before.
The reason why so many people are pirating Kanye's latest album is simple: the limited release is preventing fans from purchasing and listening to it in the way they want to. With most other album launches, people can either purchase physical or digital copies of the album, or stream it through other services like Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play, but with The Life of Pablo this isn't possible.
Kanye's decision to release his latest album exclusively through a relatively unpopular streaming service doesn't seem to be paying off. Even if Tidal manages to sign up many new subscribers through this exclusive, it's unclear whether users will stay around longer than the 30 day free trial, especially if Kanye changes his mind and releases the album through more services.
For now, at least, Kanye is sticking to his guns. His latest tweets have indicated that The Life of Pablo will "never never never be on Apple" and that it "will never be for sale" either. In that case, he shouldn't be surprised if widespread piracy of his work continues.