Kanye West Says He Hasn't Made Any Profits From Stem Player

Kanye West Says He Hasn't Made Any Profits From Stem Player


Kanye West Says He Hasn't Made Any Profits From Stem Player

Kanye West claimed this week that his Stem Player device had generated $2 million in sales over three days, but how many units did he actually sell?

This story holds great promise for the music industry. It serves as a timely reminder of why streaming is so crucial to artists and their growing power in the digital realm.

Legal Issues

EXCLUSIVE: Kanye West Denies Making Any Profits From Stem Player

The stem player, designed to look like an alien grenade and created through collaboration between Kanye West and British tech startup KANO Computing, is intended to be a disruptive tool in the music industry. It's both an audio remix device and streaming platform that enables users to record, mix, save custom stems of songs then play those mixes back through the device's speakers.

Recorded music is composed of layers, which enable sound engineers to isolate and manipulate specific elements within a track. These "stems" form the core of any song's melody and rhythm; they include vocals, drums, bass, and other components. In music production studios, various MIDI controllers and samplers are employed for shaping these stems into desired sounds.

Many musicians use MIDI controllers and samplers, yet few consumers own one of these pieces of gear. Furthermore, hip-hop artists and DJs have not usually collaborated with electronic music producers or audio engineers in an effective manner.

Despite all this, there remain some budding hip-hop artists and music producers out there who want to craft their own beats or songs. While MIDI controllers and samplers might not be the most user-friendly or affordable devices to own, they're much cheaper than recording studio equipment.

For a fraction of the cost, users can use the Stem Player to craft their own versions of songs or remixes. It allows users to record up to four different stems and play them back through its speakers.

The player also features three menus - the main/stem menu, loops/speed menu and effects menu. Each has a button that controls playback speed or loops on the currently playing stem. Moreover, previous and next track buttons enable you to cycle through songs on your device by fast-forwarding or rewinding them as well as changing albums.

Hip-hop artists may find this concept intriguing, but it comes with its own set of problems. Legal concerns surrounding stem cell research and clinical trials in the U.S. remain hotly debated topics; furthermore, there's a long history of ethical dilemmas to consider when making such an endeavor.

Piracy Issues

Exclusive: Kanye West Denies Making Any Profits From Stem Player

Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) recently revealed that his new album Donda 2 would only be released through his proprietary Stem Player device - meaning you won't find it available on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal or any other streaming services - instead you must buy the $200 audio device called Stem Player to access the music. This means the record won't be available through Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal or any other streaming service - instead, you must purchase this $200 audio device called Stem Player in order to hear it.

Ye explained that he had chosen to launch Donda 2 on Stem Player due to his dissatisfaction with the low royalties artists receive from major streaming services. As such, Ye was trying to fight against unfair policies.

He wanted to create an innovative product that fans could use to customize their music, so he joined forces with Kano Computing to develop Stem Player.

It's a compact music player that allows users to manipulate and remix songs using stems - the raw audio tracks that comprise each track. Plus, its easy-to-use controls enable listeners to enhance or isolate individual sounds within the music they're listening to.

Unfortunately, however, Kanye's success with Stem Player has been heavily marred by piracy. According to Variety magazine, the new album has already been pirated on several sites such as 1337x and The Pirate Bay.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, piracy is driven by sociological, economic and structural factors. Males are more likely to engage in piracy than females while lack of affordable legal options also plays a role.

That is why Ye's decision to release Donda 2 on Stem Player may not be as controversial as initially perceived. He can leverage this strategy to build direct connections with his fans and earn more money than he would from major streaming services.

Low Sales

Kanye West claims he has yet to make any profits from Stem Player, despite selling $2.2 million worth on launch day. Ye and his tech entrepreneur friend Klein (pronounced "Cane-Oh") created the device in order to recoup some of their lost income from music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music where artists are paid scant rates for their work.

In the music industry, artists are becoming internet celebrities to garner attention and boast about themselves on social media. Unfortunately, this culture has had an adverse effect on the quality of music as a whole. Artists are using 'TikTok' hashtags and capitalizing on current social media trends to boost their profiles and earn additional money through merchandise sales.

Though this approach can be successful, it won't make professional musicians a lot of money and doesn't address the underlying problems with music distribution. According to a UK Parliament report, streaming platforms pay artists only a fraction of what they earn for their work, while label and DSP fees take up an disproportionately large portion of an artist's profit.

YEEZY has been vocal about his desire to fight these issues, contending that streaming platforms unfairly benefit big labels and digital service providers instead of giving artists a fair shot at earning from their work. He hopes his Stem Player will make the music industry more equitable and profitable for artists in the future, but may be misguided here.

Ye has been accused of sampling Marshall Jefferson's track "Move Your Body" without permission in his song "Flowers," according to Ultra International Music Publishing's lawsuit. Ye confirmed that he had discussed clearing the sample with Jefferson prior to recording it.

However, it remains uncertain whether Ye would have cleared the sample had he not released Donda 2 on his own Stem Player device - an audio mixing desk equipped with a headphone jack and small speaker. Regardless, he has made no secret about his intentions to release Donda 2 exclusively through this device, which functions similarly to a CD player but contains both headphones jack and speaker ports.

Final Words

Kanye West has finally addressed the Stem Player controversy. On Friday morning, the rapper took to Instagram to announce that his upcoming Donda 2 album would only be available through his Stem Player, not other streaming platforms such as Apple, Amazon, Spotify or YouTube.

Ye has taken inspiration from Neil Young's Pono music player, which launched in 2014 and allows users to remix songs on-the-go using touchscreen controls. It features a 97dB speaker, 3.5mm output and USB-C data port for power and data transfer.

Kanye West's album can fit on 8GB, but that won't quite do it justice for a deluxe edition. While that should be more than enough for most of us to store two albums from him, 8GB just isn't quite enough space.

In addition to remixing Donda 2, Stem Player also plays other Kanye tracks which can be downloaded via its website (the original version of Donda was only available with Yeezy Tech's Stem Player). Furthermore, this device boasts other features like a loop button and the capacity for isolating multiple stems simultaneously.

Kano Computing, a UK-based technology company, collaborated with Ye to develop the device. Alex Klein - Kanye's CEO - told Complex that their product "reimagines how people experience and interact with music."

For him, it's a way to fight platforms that give artists less than 12% of what they make from streaming revenues. He declared his desire to "free music from this oppressive system."

Though Ye's decision to release an album exclusively on a $200 device likely won't land him any placement on the Billboard charts, it's an intriguing and daring step. His opposition to music industry's antiquated pay-to-play model is encouraging; hopefully this will enable artists, fans, and listeners to come together more meaningfully and appropriately.

Stem Player is an intriguing and innovative device, though its price tag of $200 may prove too much for some Ye fans to bear.

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