The War on Streaming – Why Adele’s Recent Decision Confuses Fans and Hurts the Majority of the Music Industry
Over 156 Million “Hello” streams on Spotify must not have generated enough cash for the Adele camp, so the strategic move to take a massive shit on a step toward making significant progress was made.
Technology has changed music forever and will continue evolve. Many of the “leaders” in our industry refuse to accept it.
Some points to consider:
- Despite all of the anti-Spotify propaganda, Spotify and Apple Music pay very well when the play counts hit the numbers that superstars are currently getting. Who receives that money depends on the contract between the label and the artist. Artists who sign bad contracts don’t see much of the money. It certainly does not mean that the money isn’t being paid out.
- Fans who prefer CDs will still buy them.
- Fans who download music because they still haven’t figured out that paying for premium streaming services is a better user experience will still download.
- Die hard fans who buy vinyl will continue to buy vinyl.
- Average fans will continue to watch videos for free on YouTube/Vevo with no intention of ever paying for a download or CD.
- Fans who embrace technology and pay for the best music content delivery systems on the planet [Spotify, Apple Music, etc.] get shafted by the artist [or whoever made the final decision].
- Adele’s album was leaked. Hundreds of millions of potential revenue generating “streams” will now be converted to “free listens” that were illegally downloaded. The label will spend money on lawyers to fight for more piracy laws pay staff to file countless DCMA notices instead of just accepting a giant check from the legal music streaming services.
- New computers, tablets, phones and now cars ship without CD/DVD drives. SSD has made storage space incredibly valuable again. Why would anyone want to fill their device with a bunch of audio files if they don’t have to? Apps containing emails, photos, and other important information will always take priority.
- Most of the people backing “The War on Streaming” in the music industry regularly enjoy movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu.
- The real money is made in touring. The best way to sell out a tour is to build a phenomenal marketing campaign generate a ton of press. The best press is free press ie. “Make America Great Again?” [Smart Marketing, but only a select few are in the position to have this advantage]. Whether Adele decides to tour around this release [or not] has yet to be announced, so maybe this is her way of making money without having to hit the road. Fair enough, however allowing the first single from this album to be streamed but not the rest of the tracks certainly appears to be part of a plan that has been in place for more than just a few weeks.
Once again, a decision has been made that will financially benefit a very small group of individuals. A decision with absolutely no benefit to the fans. A decision that confuses the average music consumer. A decision that keeps fans “in the dark” and hinders progress. A decision that hurts artists and labels that appreciate and rely on streaming income. A decision that continues to cast a negative light an already fragile sector of the music industry.
Following in the footsteps of others who have withheld their music from streaming services [Thome York, Taylor Swift and other poor decision makers] , Adele has passed up on a chance to embrace her fans, educate millions of people and ultimately get every artist paid more for their streams [the more paid subscriptions there are, the more the services pay out].
Instead she chose the alternative. The same girl who was able to show the world that talent was more important than looks just showed the world that her personal financial gain is more important to her than offering her fans the right to choose. Instead she denied her peers [the 99% of artists that do offer their music on streaming services] a chance to make more money.
We’ll be sure to go out and find a copy of 25 on 8-track first thing in the morning so our experience of listening to this record can match it’s release strategy…Ancient and probably not going to see a comeback…