Platform-exclusive content is one of the best ways to boost hardware sales, and Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, announced via Instagram that his upcoming album, Donda 2, “will not will only be available on my own platform, the Stem Player”. . Not on Apple Amazon Spotify or YouTube.
Although Ye’s reasoning is separate from that of other artists who have recently spoken out about Joe Rogan’s situation on Spotify and the stark difference between his $200 million deal and the amount he’s earning them, the conclusion is the same. As he wrote in another article, “Today artists only get 12% of the money the industry makes. It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own. Go to stemplayer.com now to order.
The album is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22.
The $200 Stem Player was launched last year in partnership with Kano Computing, bundled with Donda’s debut album so you can manipulate any song using the touch-sensitive light sliders built into its beige shell . “We currently have 67,000 available and are making 3,000 a day,” Ye said in another post.
It worked well in our tests, allowing owners to easily manipulate different parts of a song while listening, whether for one of the included tracks or any others loaded through its web interface. However, adding loops and effects can get trickier. It has 8GB of storage, connections via USB-C, Bluetooth or 3.5mm headphone jack and a 97dB speaker.
Details of the upcoming album exclusive are hazy – will it cost Stem Player owners anything to download? — but this isn’t Ye’s first exploration into limited-release music. In February 2016, he released The Life of Pablo exclusively through Tidal, tweeting that it “never ever will ever be on Apple.” And it will never be for sale. On April 1 of that year, The Life of Pablo was released for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play – Ye finally settled a lawsuit from a fan who said he signed up for Tidal because of his exclusivity.
In 2017, TMZ reported that Kanye West was canceling his contract with Tidal, and the outlet said he was in dispute over millions of dollars he believed the company owed him. He also cited sources saying he was “done with exclusives.”
Having control over the hardware platform the music is linked to can make it a different environment for output. The artist has continued to post on Instagram since last night’s announcement – older posts about Pete Davidson, Billie Eilish and Kid Cudi have disappeared – sharing what appears to be a tracklist for Donda 2 and reiterating a recent claim that Apple offered to pay $100 million for Donda’s debut album.
According to Ye, “Tech companies have made music practically free, so if you’re not sneaking and touring, you’re not eating. Jay Z created Tidal and fake media attacked him. Well in the words of my big brother. Pick me up. I’m ready to die on my feet because I don’t live on my knees anymore. God, please cover me. I run this business 100%, I don’t have to ask permission. This is our 2nd generation stemplayer. We have other things we are working on. I feel what I felt in the first episode of the documentary. The documentary he mentions is Jeen-yuhswhich recently debuted on Netflix.