Ty Dolla $ign Talks Free Mixtapes Vs. Streams
Ty Dolla $ign built his fan base off of free mixtapes like his Beach House series, but he is readying his second for-pay project in a year's time.
Campaign, which is scheduled for a September 23, 2016 release, is the follow-up to Free TC, which he dropped with Atlantic Records in November 2015. Both projects will be available on streaming services and to buy instead of as free downloads, the way that he did for his previous eight projects since 2011.
"I think the concept of a mixtape has definitely changed. Since it's all streaming now, I might as well get my [paid] streams," Ty Dolla said in an interview with The Fader. "...You're going to hear it for free anyway, but now it's just going to count for the streams. If you're a real one, then you'll actually buy it, and I'll appreciate that too."
When he was asked about the tendency for artists to use mixtapes to release their more adventurous, genuine works while label releases are more inclined to appeal to commercial interests, Ty Dolla said he sees everything as the same.
"I might have thought like that before. But now, once a song comes out, it's out forever. You can't get it back," he said. "So you might as well give them all your best! I don't want bullshit from the Dolla $ign floating around. So we came with it for this Campaign. I didn’t get the big ass orchestra, but there’s definitely violins. It’s still Ty Dolla $ign."
Ty Dolla $ign's comments speak to the ever-changing nature of technology's relationship with the music business. The five short years since his first digital release already feels like a lifetime. Who knows how things will change over the next couple of years?