Sunday, December 4, 2022

Kanye West Claims To Sell 6,200 Of The $200 Music Players He Says Will Be Only Way To Get His New Album

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Topline
Kanye West said Friday he sold over $1 million worth of “stem player” music devices in 24 hours, one day after announcing on social media that his upcoming album will only be available on the $200 music players and won’t be released on traditional streaming platforms. 

Ye attends the Kenzo Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 23, 2022 … [+] in Paris, France.

Corbis via Getty Images

Key Facts

The stem players, which West began selling last year, are hand-held devices that users can load with music and use to manipulate different parts of a song’s  production, like the bass, vocals, drums and samples, to create their own mix. 

In a Friday Instagram post, West—whose legal name is Ye—shared a screenshot of what appears to be the stem player’s sales statistics, which Forbes has not independently confirmed, that showed over 6,200 players had been purchased in the last 24 hours, purportedly adding up to over $1.3 million in net sales.

West said Thursday his upcoming album Donda 2, which is due to be released next week, will only be available on the stem player, saying he will not put the album on mainstream streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music because of the miniscule payments artists typically receive from them. 

Forbes has reached out to West and Universal Music Group, which owns West’s record label G.O.O.D. Music, for comment. 

Crucial Quote
“Song Writers have been really hurt by streaming platforms,” West wrote while celebrating the sales. “Some say I’m the only one who can make this change. So as the leading innovator in music of the past 20 years. I’m putting my own work on the line to change it.”

Big Number
1.8 billion. That’s West’s net worth as of Friday, according to Forbes’ estimates. 

Tangent
West has shared and deleted a series of erratic posts on his Instagram account over the last few weeks, many of which have focused on his estranged wife Kim Kardashian West’s rumored relationship with comedian Pete Davidson. 

Key Background
All of West’s 10 previous albums exist on streaming platforms, along with music he’s made with Kid Cudi under the group name Kids See Ghosts and music from his gospel choir Sunday Service. Though West announced last month that Donda 2 will debut Tuesday, the rapper has a spotty history when it comes to sticking to confirmed album launch dates, with many of his recent works coming out weeks or months after West said they were supposed to. 

Further Reading
Kanye West Says He’s Releasing His 11th Studio Album, ‘Donda 2,’ Next Month (Forbes)

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