It seems streaming exclusives are continuing to create a rise in piracy. After a four-year hiatus Frank Ocean finally resurfaced, dropping his long-anticipated sophomore album, Blonde, on Apple Music last weekend.
Critics and fans are enjoying it, but it’s not all good news for the R&B singer. So far, the album has been illegally downloaded over a whopping 750,000 times.
This is according to data released to Music Business Worldwide by MUSO, a data-analytics specialist, which claims that as of August 25th, people pirated Ocean’s album 753,849 times. Since Blonde is an Apple Music exclusive for now, fans are not willing to pay $9.99 per month to listen to the record.
Most of the biggest albums in 2016 have been released exclusively on streaming services, like Beyonce’s Lemonade on Tidal. As a result, piracy rates are increasing. Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, which was temporarily only available on Tidal as well, was illegally downloaded over a record-breaking 500,000 times.
How this mass piracy will affect future album releases remains to be seen, but one thing’s for use, the music industry needs to find quick solutions. Universal Music Group’s recent ban on streaming exclusives is one way to deal with the problem.