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Adele Isn't Letting You Stream '25' Because She Doesn't Have To

Adele is popular enough to get away with it.

Columbia Records

Adele’s new album, the highly anticipated “25,” won’t be available on any music streaming services — including Spotify and Apple Music, according to a report in the New York Times.

Millions of people are on Spotify and Apple Music, while paid MP3s downloads and CDs have been going the way of the dodo for years now. So why would Adele yank the streaming rug out from under her fans? It’s simple: Because she can.

Adele, like Taylor Swift, is one of the handful of music artists with a fan base large enough that can she can make money selling only downloads and albums. Her U.S. label, Columbia Records*, evidently thinks that making “25” available for streaming would cannibalize her more lucrative album sales. At some point down the road, she could pull a Taylor Swift and make her music available to stream, but she can probably earn more money in the first few weeks by making it available exclusively to purchase.

While it might be annoying for her fans (or a $10 pain in the ass for parents), listeners have no real reason to be worried that artists will take their music off streaming services en masse. During the peak of the CD era in the late 1990s, bigger acts could sell a million albums or more in the first few weeks of sales, but that era is long gone — unless you’re chart-toppers like Adele or Swift.

One last thing: In its review of “25,” the New York Times issued a magnificent correction. It reads, “An earlier version of this review misstated a song lyric. Adele sings ‘Hello from the other siiiiiide,’ not ‘outsiiiiiide.'”

* Her label abroad is XL Recordings.

Update: A spokesperson from Spotify reached out to provide the following statement: “We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify. We hope that she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy 25 on Spotify alongside 19 and 21 very soon.”

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