Although it was briefly available for sale on West’s official site, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo has become the first streaming-only album to go platinum, which continues to make history on streaming services.
Kanye’s “The Life Of Pablo” is the first streaming-only album to go platinum
While Kanye West is no stranger to making history or controversy, this time around, it’s just the former. The rapper and producer’s seventh album, The Life of Pablo, is the first streaming-only release to be certified platinum by the RIAA.
Although it was available for a short time, back when it was first released in February of 2016, the album has since only been able to be streamed and available as a digital download on West’s website.
And streamed it has, having been listened to over 3 billion times worldwide, with half of those in the United States alone. Those numbers account for 99.3 percent of the total, as the aforementioned sales on West’s website only contributed 0.7 per cent. But when the numbers are in the billions, even a fraction of a percent is a lot.
The album was also available for sale on West’s website, but downloads contributed only 0.7 percent of its first-week units, according to Billboard and TLOP meets the “platinum” condition without those numbers.
It is also making history in other categories, too, such as being the first streaming-only album to chart in the Billboard Top 200 and the first of such albums to be nominated for or win a Grammy.
My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
Originally, The Life of Pablo was only available on Tidal, with West saying it would never be on any of Apple’s music platforms. But, just two months on, the album was available across all major streaming services. Although, it is currently not available on Spotify, due to licensing issues.
Yo @Spotify what’s the deal with taking The Life of Pablo off your app? I’m gonna switch to Apple Music if it doesn’t come back
— Matt Scheumann (@ShwayNotScheu) April 2, 2017
Those records look to continue, too, as the streaming isn’t slowing down.