We may not always understand Kanye West. But its hard to argue that, like his wife Kim Kardashian, West is a savvy manipulator of media. In recent weeks, West has begun testing the limits of music streaming; and in doing so, changed what it means to release an album.
This week Kanye West updated his latest release "The Life Of Pablo" twice in just two days. After his latest album updates, Tidal, the only place you can hear "TLOP," now streams a new version of "Wolves" and a new track created from Frank Ocean's 'Wolves' outro dubbed "Frank's Track."
In doing so, West is taking full advantage of the immediacy of streaming and turned the release of an album from an artistic statement to an ongoing conversation with his audience.
Fixing Wolves 2day... Worked on it for 3 weeks. Life Of Pablo is a living breathing changing creative expression. #contemporaryart— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 15, 2016
West and the album benefit from significant social and media buzz with every mini-release; and in addition to encouraging fans to subscribe to Tidal (the only place "TLOP" is available), the curious will also go back to hear the new versions. Along the way, West gets fan feedback, that may influence his further revisions.
Beyond the hype factor, West is proving that, aside from being a music delivery platform, streaming can also redefine the left-for-dead album format for the digital age.