Those without a TIDAL membership have found it easy to pirate Kanye West's new album, "The Life of Pablo."
TIDAL is having a comeback year after gaining exclusive access to both Rihanna's ANTI as well as Kanye West's new album, The Life of Pablo. This past Sunday (Feb. 14), in the early hours of the AM, when West first made The Life of Pablo exclusively available through the Jay Z-helmed streaming service, he tweeted, "I decided not to sell my album for another week." Yesterday, he went back on his word and shocked many fans by revealing that the album "will never be for sale" -- at least on any platform aside from TIDAL.
Though the number of TIDAL subscribers has likely skyrocketed in the past few days, they aren't the only ones who have been able to hear The Life of Pablo. In an article published earlier today, BBC reported that the album has already been illegally downloaded over 500,000 times.
Such numbers aren't necessarily record-breaking, but the founder of the site Torrent Freak told BBC, "I haven't seen numbers this high before for a music release -- not with Adele, either," making note of Adele's recent album, 25, which sold over 3.3 million copies in its first week.
The Life of Pablo is currently one of the most popular downloads on the prominent torrenting site The Pirate Bay, and the RIAA's persistent Google takedown requests -- nearly 20, reports BBC -- have done little to halt the piracy of the album. The article points out, however, that -- though once effective -- those "takedown requests" are now insufficient -- "it is largely useless in the current world where illegal links that are taken down reappear instantaneously," said the RIAA chief executive in a statement last year.
So, despite the album's exclusive commitment to TIDAL, it seems non-users are finding (illegal) ways to get their hands on The Life of Pablo. All this is going to give Billboard an even tougher job than it had with ANTI when the brand attempts to chart The Life of Pablo's first-week sales.