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Kanye West takes it out on the music streaming industry

The statements could create a domino effect

Kanye West takes it out on the music streaming industry The statements could create a domino effect

The second volume of the trilogy Vultures was supposed to be released on streaming platforms on Friday: as expected, Ye and Ty Dolla $ign have postponed the launch to an unspecified date, leaving fans at the mercy of snippets and spoilers of the new tracks from the album - already played during the Phoenix listening party and already shared and discussed on X. Unlike the launch of the first volume of Vultures, which was postponed several times for reasons still unclear today, this time there would be a at least reasonable motivation behind Kanye West's reconsideration. In fact, the artist is reflecting on the launch mode of Vultures 2, which probably will not be available on Apple Music or on Spotify. Kanye's decision stems from the discontent, his and the team's, regarding streaming platforms, which are paying less and less money into the artists' pockets once their music is released. Kanye West's point of view emerges from the screenshots shared by the account specialized in news about the rapper, YEFANATICS: «As James Blake said, streaming devalues the music we artists produce. The next chapters of Vultures will be sold on the Yeezy website. I have 20 million followers, if 5% of them buy my album, just calculating a million copies, we would sell 300,000 more than the most successful album last year. After the Super Bowl, we sold a million pieces on Yeezy. I know it's possible. If we manage, we would no longer have streaming companies controlling artists».

Kanye is no stranger to alliances with artists with the aim of defeating a "common enemy". In this case, Kanye has found, in the figure of James Blake, a faithful companion to fight the (seemingly impenetrable) giant of the music industry. The British record producer, less than a week ago, had anticipated Kanye West's criticisms shedding light on the issue. Through X, Blake had written: «Remember when my cover of "Godspeed" went viral? Neither I nor Frank earned a penny because it was an "original sound" contained in the videos. TikTok users didn't read my name anywhere. Next time your favorite artists go viral, remember they're not earning anything». In short, according to both, but also to the consensus that the two have obtained in the hours following the social publication of their thought, not only do streaming services not pay satisfactory figures to artists, but they constantly expect these artists' tracks to go viral on platforms like TikTok, which in turn do not generate any type of income for those who created the music. It is essentially a short circuit that risks generating a domino effect increasing the dissatisfaction of artists, who might gradually choose not to publish their products on music platforms anymore, opting for a direct and independent sale.

An alternative route, thought of by Kanye himself, would involve a "hybrid" launch mode. Also through the screenshots released on X, Kanye is considering launching volumes 2 and 3 of Vultures first on the Yeezy site, and only a few months later on Spotify. In doing so, a release mode similar to that of the film sector would be created where, except for some products (for example Netflix exclusives), films debut first in cinemas, and later on streaming platforms. For the future, we can only imagine a scenario in which artists will try to protect themselves in an increasingly ingenious way, considering the pitfalls hidden by the music industry which is also betting a lot on artificial intelligence.