25 Not Available For Streaming – What Now?

(Associated Press photo)

Oh, the outrage! Not even 24 hours before her album dropped on Friday, Adele announced that 25 will not be made available on Spotify, Apple Music, or any other streaming service.
Everyone keeps saying that she “pulled a Taylor Swift”. But that’s not the case.

Taylor Swift’s decision to not make her album available on Spotify was a decision of not wanting her music to be available for free. When Apple Music announced that they would actually pay their artists during their trial, Taylor Swift happily handed her album over, saying that she was doing it for musicians who just started out.

Ari Herstand said in his piece for Digital Music News, finding music on Spotify leads to loving it, getting the vinyl version, seeing them live and maybe buying a shirt. Adele and Taylor Swift have their music all over the radio and don’t rely on this kind of exposure.

Ed Sheeran’s X, Spotify’s most streamed album in 2014, in the whole world has now sold over 10 million copies. One Direction’s Four sold over 3.2 million copies in 2014 altogether.
In contrast, Taylor Swift’s 1.287 million copies in the first week and Adele’s 1.9 million copies in two days seem huge. But will it make a difference in the long run?

Ari Herstand calls Adele “greedy”. And while I understand an artist’s wish to get money for their art, I also understand where the consumer disagrees. Adele is definitely alienating a certain age/income group by forcing those people to buy her album for £9,99. Is it really still about getting people to connect with your music then?
We also don’t know if it was really her choice or her label had a hand in it, even though about 70% of all streaming revenue goes to the label and not to the artist – and the songwriters and producers often get nothing. But that’s common and outraging knowledge.

If Adele wanted to break records, she succeeded. Not only did her announcement make everyone buy her album, it also sparked a new conversation and made more people aware of her music. But I still think that an artist with her magnitude does not need more publicity and money. It’s time to make this industry sustainable with this format. Streaming is going to stick around for a while and it’s time the industry adapts instead of fighting it.


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