Nearly a month after its release, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo remains available exclusively on TIDAL. However, if and when the album does receive a physical release, don’t expect to find it in a jewel case.
As Kanye revealed on Twitter, he will no longer release his albums on CD. He explained that the album packaging for his previous LP, Yeezus, was “an open casket to CDs,” and from this point forward, he’ll only release music via streaming.
Kanye’s decision is by no means a radical one; in fact, based on last year’s numbers, you could argue anyone still releasing their albums on CD may need to have their head examined. In the first half of 2015, CD sales in the US dropped by 31.5%, and if not for moms picking up Adele’s album at Starbucks, those numbers likely would have been far worse. Streaming revenue, on the other hand, grew upwards of 25% in 2015, and now accounts for more total earnings than any physical release format.
Now, if only Kanye would take up a similar position when it comes to TIDAL, perhaps his album wouldn’t be illegally downloaded a million times.