Whatever your opinion of Kanye West is, either as a performer or as a person, you can’t deny that his popularity is almost unparalleled at the moment. Such is his popularity that an exclusivity deal for his newest album was enough to breathe new life into Tidal, a music-streaming service that was nearly killed in the womb by all the controversy and criticism it received during its initial launch. West is good friends with Jay-Z, who owns Tidal, so he decided to give the service the adrenaline shot it needed to get back on its feet by making his new album, The Life of Pablo, available exclusively through Tidal for the time being, which has helped bring the service to the top spot in the App Store.
After scoring exclusive streaming rights to Kanye’s new album, The Life of Pablo, Tidal has taken over the number one spot on the U.S. App Store. The album, which went live yesterday, was originally supposed to be available for streaming on Tidal’s platform, as well as for purchase on Kanye’s own website. However, yesterday Kanye tweeted that he was pulling the album from his own site, meaning Tidal would become the only place fans could listen to the album, at least until it hits iTunes in seven days. West, who reportedly owns a small stake of Tidal through friend and Tidal owner Jay-Z, emphasized that “all music lovers” should subscribe to Tidal to hear his album. The call to action seems to have worked, as it took less than 24 hours for the app to takeover the number one download spot on iTunes. Of course while not all downloads will convert to subscriptions — Tidal is ranked the 30th top grossing app right now — many fans are presumably eager to hear Kanye’s new album, and are likely to at least provide a credit card and take advantage of the free trial that Tidal offers. So far, the streaming site has held up to the intense onslaught of traffic from Ye’s fans. However, last week was a different story, when millions of fans complained that Tidal’s live video stream of Kanye’s Season 3 fashion show / album debut was malfunctioning.