All Artists Should be Streaming Their Music–Except Adele. Here’s Why.

The biggest music industry story of the last few months has been the insane sales numbers being generated by Adele’s 25 album, a record that has sold somewhere north of 10 million copies globally in about six weeks, including nearly a million in Canada alone. People who keep track of such things estimate that this has resulted in retail sales of at least $115,000,000. In a month-and-a-half.

Adele achieved these heights because outside of “Hello,” her label refused to let any of the streaming services get their hands on 25. “You want the record? Go out and buy it. CD, vinyl, iTunes–we don’t care. You’re just not going to stream it.”

A number of pundits claimed that this was a moronic move. Turns out they were a wee bit wrong.

Music Business Worldwide did some back-of-the-napkin figuring and determined to generate that $115,00,000 through just streams, 25 would have had to been streamed 16,400,000,000 times.

That’s 16.4 BILLION streams.

Considering that the most-streamed artist on Spotify is Ed Sheeran with 3 billion streams (grossing him $20 million at current rates), there would have been ZERO chance of 25 generating that $115 million EVER, let alone in six weeks. In other words, this was a very smart snub. And only Adele could have done it.

Read the whole story (which includes all the math) here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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