In the coming weeks Akon will be dropping his first album in seven years. No major album release slated even though he has a deal with Warner. No Spotify, I tunes, Tidal or Pandora streaming. Akon has enlisted the talents of the New York startup EscapeX to create and deliver the ‘Stadium’ app. Akon has always been a shrewd business man and it just didn’t make sense for him to get gauged by the major streaming companies. “Just think about it,” he said. “Why give someone like Spotify or Pandora 99.9 percent of what should go in your pocket? It doesn’t make sense.”
Streaming music, meanwhile, is exploding. It’s on pace to double this year, according to Nielsen Music data, gains that would propel U.S. “album” sales upward for the first time in four years. (Nielsen counts 1,500 song streams as equivalent to an album sale.) Streaming is “a huge piece of the business,” said David Bakula, senior vice president of analytics at Nielsen.
Akon is set to release 4 albums on his ‘Stadium’ app and if you’re a big Akon fan you’ll be entitled to
stream his songs for free, there will be interactive adds they’ll have to deal with. When you click the adds or share with friends on Facebook fans will earn credits they can buy digital goods: ringtones, wallpapers and Akon styled emoji. And you’ll have to power to release and unlock more songs and unreleased videos.
Akon currently has 60 million social media ‘Akoners’ (fans of Akon I just coined the phrase) and 200,000 have already signed up to receive the ‘Stadium’ app. Akon owns the majority of music and he’ll be able to connect with ‘Akoners’ to sell tickets,T-shirts, backstage passes and other merchandise. With all that fan base Akon pockets the majority of the revenue, which is what artist’s are trying to gain more control of ‘their empires’.
Akon’s four albums for the ‘Stadium’ app will have different genres including world, house, urban and reggae. The last record is slated to be a pop album released before March 2016. Most importantly Akon is stepping up the game of Artist ownership and control of music and every entity that provides a funding stream from his image.
Until we get new Akon music, here’s the track that broke him.
Akon ft. Styles P – “Locked Up”