Kanye West’s New Platform: The Stem Player


Aidin Johnson, Reporter

Following his 10th album, Donda, Kanye West will be releasing his follow up, Donda 2. What makes this album different than any other is the platform he uses: the Stem Player. According to Kanye, “Donda 2 will only be available on my own platform, the Stem Player. Not on Apple Amazon Spotify or Youtube,” he posts on Twitter. “Today artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes. It’s time to free music from the oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own. Go to stemplayer.com now to order.” This will be groundbreaking in the music industry, as a new platform opens new venues of music listening technology. The actual Stem Player speaker is a slim, 98-decibel MP3 player that breaks songs into 4 parts or “stems”, freeing the music from the oppressive system. The speaker allows the user to play different parts of the song with different effects, pitch control, and overall letting you manipulate the song to your liking based on music preference. More information on the Stem Player will be available via the website or social media in the future.

Kanye’s new device/platform seems to be a promising concept—but many fans call him a “sellout” for his steep price point of $200. His idea is that the common public will be more enticed to switch music platforms just to hear his album. But many have expressed their ideas of “leaking” the album, which essentially allows someone to listen to the whole album with a couple of searches. It’s rumored whether or not this will happen, but the odds are stacked against Kanye considering the album has been out for over a week. Alex Klein, the brains behind the device explains that “you’re not spending $200 for just an album. You’re spending $200 for a revolutionary device that allows you to listen to music in a completely new way through stem separation…” And this applies to any song you play on the Stem Player as the website lets you choose what music to import. While it’s unsure if Kanye’s marketing tactic is working, he doesn’t pass the chance to display his cash revenue from the release. He informs his fans that (Apple Music’s director) Larry Jackson even offered him a cash deal of $100 million to release the album on Apple Music, but instead, he declines it and explains further that “We’ve made $2,227,012.05 in 24 hours,” Kanye tells the public on an image showing a list of sales figures. “God is good. Thank you guys for taking this journey.”

There will continue to be controversy over Kanye’s choice in releasing the album, but there’s no doubt his piece of technology is a well-conceived idea and will continue to sell to his loyal fans.