Hot New Illegal Download: Kanye's Album

At least 500K aren't going for the Tidal plan, then
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Hot New Illegal Download: Kanye's Album
Kanye West gestures to the audience at the unveiling of the Yeezy collection and album release for his latest album, "The Life of Pablo," Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York.   (AP Photo/Bruce Barton)

Kanye West declared on Twitter Monday that "My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale... You can only get it on Tidal." But apparently not everyone is interested in paying $9.99 a month just to get access to The Life of Pablo, because TorrentFreak reports that an estimated half-million people had already illegally downloaded a copy of the album via BitTorrent within a day of its release. And that's not counting those who grabbed the album via "various direct download services and hosting sites," TorrentFreak notes. At the time of its posting Tuesday, TorrentFreak saw nearly 10,000 people sharing one of the most popular Pablo torrents simultaneously, "something we haven't seen with a music release before."

Many others, who did sign up for Tidal, apparently struggled to actually obtain the album; TorrentFreak says Tidal's support desk was "flooded with complaints." The site estimates that Tidal probably got "tens of thousands of new subscribers" thanks to West's limited release, and Business Insider notes that Tidal "shot ... to the top of the app download charts" after the album's release, so it's difficult to say whether that cancels out the illegal downloads. Google searches for both Tidal and "Kanye torrent" got a huge boost after West announced his release plans for the album, Wired reports. The International Business Times notes that West also sold the album on his website, but only for a few hours Saturday. (Read more Kanye West stories.)

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