After much speculation, superstar singer Adele has revealed that she will not release her third record entitled 25 on music streaming services. Major music streamers like Spotify and Apple Music were told the news this week, according to the New York Times. The 27 year-old singer was “personally involved” with the decision to withhold the record, arguably the most-anticipated album of 2015. Hello, the lead single off of 25, was released on Spotify last month — and already has more than 150 million streams.
25 will be Adele’s first release in nearly five years. Her last record, the six-time Grammy-winner called 21, sold more than 30 million copies and broke a slew of music industry records.
While she has largely stepped out of the spotlight in the last couple years, her fans are just as rabid as ever: in addition to Hello’s massive success so far on music streamers, the single became the first to sell more than a million downloads in one week.
Opting against making the record available on Spotify, Apple Music, and others will likely increase 25’s record sales — at least at the onset. Billboard notes that industry execs predict the album could sell 2.5 million copies in its first week, which would break *NSYNC’s record for most record sales in one week with 2000’s No Strings Attached. That said, the date of that record alone is a good indicator of just how prominent music streaming has become, making Adele’s decision a head-scratcher, to be sure.
The move is a big blow for the increasingly prominent crowd of listeners who access a majority of their music via streaming services, echoing similar moves from other big artists — most notably Taylor Swift — who have decided to pull their music from Spotify, and other services in part due to their low royalty payments. However, Swift, Radiohead, and multiple other marquee artists have allowed their music on subscription-only services like Apple Music, which does not offer a free, ad-based tier like Spotify does.
Neither the British artist nor her record label, Columbia Records, has given a statement on the matter. 25 is set to be released tomorrow, but you’ll have to buy it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon or in brick-and-mortar stores to hear it.