There's No Way These Massive Kanye West 'The Life of Pablo' Streaming Numbers Are True

TIDAL claims that Kanye's 'TLOP' album was streamed 250 million times in ten days, but we don't believe them. Here's why...
Author:
Updated:
Original:
DJBooth_logo2x

Over the last few months, TIDAL has been the North Korea of streaming services. They've refused to release stats on their streaming numbers and similarly refused to tell people if the album they paid for is every dropping, but today they dropped their veil of silence to declare that Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album drew in a record-shattering 250 million streams in the first ten days. 

250 million in ten days! That's amazing, so amazing that number defies any rational, objective sense. Or to be blunter, I just can't take those numbers at face value. They're the North Korean grocery store of streaming numbers. 

All you need to do to raise some doubts is zoom out a little for some perspective. 

  • Before these numbers were released, the streaming record belonged to Justin Bieber, whose recent Purpose album garnered 205 million global streams on Spotify in a week.
  • Spotify has a base of 100 million active users (approximately 30 million of which are paid subscribers). Let me be annoying and write that again in all caps. SPOTIFY HAS 100 MILLION ACTIVE USERS. 
  • Before the release of TLOP, TIDAL had 1 million subscribers, which it claimed jumped up to 3 million after Kanye's release. 

So you're trying to tell me that The Life of Pablo brought in approximately 50 million more streams than Justin Bieber's album on a service with literally 1/97th the number of users? It took two weeks for Adele to rack up 250 million views of "Hello" on YouTube, a free service anyone has immediate access to, but Kanye did the same in less time on a service people had to complete a sign-up form to get to? 

This isn't about doubting Kanye as an artist or trying to downplay his accomplishments, it's about using some basic critical thinking skills and not just swallowing everything companies try to spoon feed us. 

So far TIDAL's refused to release TLOP's numbers (and only TLOP's numbers, they've released stats on every other release) to a third party that can verify them like Billboard, and so if that happens I'll have the distinction of being publicly wrong forever. I'll gladly eat a heaping slice of humble pie. But in the meantime I just don't recognize the picture TIDAL's trying to paint as anything resembling real life, not when we get so many "fuck TIDAL" messages every day.

I'm just not buying TIDAL, literally or figuratively. You need more people.

Related

DJBooth_logo2x

Kanye's 'The Life of Pablo' to Debut No. 1 But Isn't First Digital-Only Album to Top Charts

Kanye's making history with his seventh number one album, but don't believe what some are reporting about his other historic achievement.

DJBooth_logo2x

Kanye West 'The Life of Pablo' 1 Listen Album Review

After just one listen, it's clear that while West might be losing his mind, he hasn't lost the ability to make great music.

DJBooth_logo2x

Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo' is Not (Yet) Platinum Certified, According to RIAA

West's latest album might very well be Platinum-worthy, but this plaque isn't legit.

DJBooth_logo2x

Kanye West's 'The Life Of Pablo' is the Worst Album Release in Music History

The release of 'TLOP' has so far been the most disjointed and confusing effort of all-time, but I still have hope Kanye can fix it.

DJBooth_logo2x

Kanye Is Finally Giving People 'The Life of Pablo' Download They Paid For

Thank Yeezus, we can finally move on from this particularly ugly time in music history.

DJBooth_logo2x

Rap Lines That Make No F*cking Sense: Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo' Edition

Warning, there's going to be some serious bleached a**hole talk, so you might not want to read this at work.