It’s got seven songs and it’s twenty three minutes long. This form factor is more important than the songs contained therein, which have unfortunately gotten mediocre reviews.
Yes, you self-satisfied white rockers, you need to admit it, you’re behind the curve. While rappers embraced the internet, giving their music away for FREE I say, HOW COULD THEY?, most famously on Soundcloud, the holier-than-thou white rockers, especially the aged, complained that the internet was ruining music and streaming was the devil.
But now streaming is single-handedly rejuvenating record companies, although most of the spoils are going to hip-hop.
When the future comes, EMBRACE IT!
You’re an artist not a startup. You don’t need double-digit millions from a VC to play, with your laptop and some skills you can post your music instantly online. Getting attention, that’s another thing. But let’s say you’ve already got attention…
Kanye’s making a bunch of these twenty minute albums, most famously with Pusha T, who’s riding a railroad of success he has not experienced in years. Next comes NAS, Teyana Taylor and a collaboration with Kid Cudi. That’s right, Kanye’s not worried about maximizing revenue, beating songs to death, touring them to hoover up all possible dollars, he’s gonna step on his own solo project by doing one with Cudi, HOW 2018!
Are you living in 2018? Do you know it’s about satiating fans, releasing frequently, like Drake, being innovative?
Let’s review history.
Albums came from 78s, a collection was called an “album.”
33 1/3 LPs contained twenty five to forty minutes of music and were then called “albums.”
CDs held 80 minutes of music and by god, the players filled them with execrable crap, justifying robbers on Napster who were sick of overpaying for one good track.
And now we’ve got streaming and an album can be INFINITE!
Think about that, it allows you to reinvent the format. Do you really want to put out 80 minutes of music in an era where even babies are overscheduled? No, you need to make it bite-sized, digestible.
Now the fascinating thing about “ye” is each track has almost the same number of listens, from 10-16 million on Spotify. Meaning people are not cherry-picking tracks, they’re listening to them all.
As opposed to Taylor Swift’s “Reputation,” whose hits have 100-300 million streams on Spotify, but whose album cuts have maybe 20-odd million streams, meaning most people are not listening to them, they’re cherry-picking the hits!
And I bring up Taylor because she actually had hits on her album, and “Reputation” has 15 songs and is 55 minutes long.
Back to Pusha T. His 5 song “Daytona” has from 4.7 to 7.7 million streams of each cut on Spotify, meaning people ARE LISTENING TO THE WHOLE THING!
Shinedown is experiencing a resurgence. Their 14 song 50 minute long 2018 album “Attention Attention” has got attention for the hit, but after that… “Devil” has 8 million streams on Spotify, a bunch of the album cuts don’t even break a million.
And it’s true, some heritage and niche acts have new albums with a relatively even number of streams, but that number is POSITIVELY ANEMIC! Meaning the hard core fans are streaming the whole thing and everybody else is ignoring it.
You can spend 23 minutes listening to Kanye’s new LP and be an expert, express your opinion, weigh in. But to have an opinion on almost anybody else, you’ve got to spend an hour listening to mostly crappy music. Furthermore, music seeps into your brain with repetition, and the shorter something is, the more times you can play it, and end up loving it.
This is big news. Hip-hop is pushing the envelope when it comes to format, which is another reason why it’s winning.
You can get on board now or be permanently left behind.