We know the music business is changing. But Adele (and Taylor Swift) picking and choosing where they will stream their music (Apple Music for Swift, Pandora for Adele) is not an upcoming trend as some may think. For Adele, keeping her music off these more mainstream streaming sites was a strategy that paid off tenfold, according the The Motley Fool article “Adele’s “25” Isn’t on Spotify or Apple Music– Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter.” by Daniel B. Kline. Adele outsold Taylor Swift and beat a record set by N’Synch more almost 16 years ago. Kline (and I) theorizes that withholding her album from streaming sites (excluding Pandora which operates slightly differently) pushed her sales to record heights.
Adele and Taylor Swift are still moving albums, other artists are not, plus streaming sites are really best put to use in the case of smaller artists who are gaining notice, and a jump in ticket sales and overall interest. Thus artists like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Adele, who have all withheld albums from streaming are not creating a trend. Neither album sales not streaming are going to top one another. It’s just not happening, both are necessary- album sales act (still) as revenue and streaming is promotion. If we could find a way in the industry to have these work in tandem then there may be a bigger change but as of right now both sides of the fence have points and are ‘right.’ Streaming services need to pay artists fairly, and artists need to look at the benefits of streaming (especially for smaller acts.)
Whether or not Adele eventually allows Spotify or Apple Music to stream 25 the outcome is the same. Not streaming would have to become the norm to make a real dent, and that won’t happen because for most artists streaming, though not necessarily the most rewarding income wise drives up exposure leading to more sponsorships, more attention socially and thus a better chance of building a successful career.
[Image from Spotify]