Kanye West has made a dramatic move to control more of the revenue from the upcoming release of Donda 2. Ye recently announced that the album would only be available through his Stem Player service. The device costs $200 and offers fans the chance to create easy remixes by seamlessly separating tracks at the push of a button.

Donda 2 will be exclusive to the Stem Player platform, which Kanye hopes will allow him to keep streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, and more out of his pockets. Many fans were irate when they learned that listening to the album would depend on a $200 device. Kanye is banking on the idea.

In a recent Instagram post, Kanye West shared some of the net sales numbers for the device. A total of 33,117 units had been sold with a net take of $9,497,919.68 since launch. Kanye did not reveal the costs associated with research and development, production, and marketing.

Consumer electronics such as the Stem Player are usually looked at as a loss leader. This means that the money is made off of content and the device is sold at cost or a loss. Sony doesn’t necessarily make money selling PlayStations; the cash is in licensing and content.

If the record is exclusive to the Stem Player and is not made available as a stand-alone download, it is hard to see how the venture could be more profitable than the traditional streaming model. Donda 2 would only be available to about 30,000 current Stem Player owners.

Even if iTunes alone took $9 out of every $10 from sales of Donda 2, Kanye would likely make more via that route than through the Stem Player. The devices could be produced cheaply and sold at a profit, but if the traditional strategy for production and sales of such items was followed, Kanye has a long road to profitability.

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Tags: Kanye West
Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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