Kanye West: Businessman

As of March 28 it still isn’t for sale. Kanye’s newest album, The Life Of Pablo, was “released” on February 14, but not for sale – it could only be heard through the streaming platform Tidal.

You can download an illegal copy, of course, but you won’t get the most recent version. That’s because it is a “living breathing changing creative expression“.

Take away the music and admire the innovative marketing effort undertaken here. This is an updated business model in which you pay for access to the latest version of an artist’s album. Apparently the album will never be released on CD, but remains to be seen if it will come out on rival platforms for purchase.

For other artists, Kanye is demonstrating a platform which encourages creative turmoil and evolution; compare to other platforms with their onerous approval processes. This creative control is something that artists have never been exposed to – new opportunities for new ideas.

This takes many of the things users love about YouTube – the interaction, the iteration, bite sized updates – and integrates them with the celebrity and self-promotion of mainstream pop.

Impressive.

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