The Brit songstress's eagerly awaited third LP is being kept away from the industry's most controversial medium
Celebrated British chanteuse Adele has finally unveiled 25, her keenly awaited third full-length — and first in nearly five years — to a rapturously receptive audience, but those fans expecting to be able to purchase the record using a digital streaming service are out of luck for the foreseeable future.
According to The New York Times, several sources confirmed on Thursday (US time) that 25 would not be available on any of the major digital music services (including both Spotify and Apple Music), not only repeating her strategy for 2011 world-buster 21 — which she kept off Spotify for more than a year, ultimately selling 30 million copies worldwide — but retracing the footsteps of contemporary mega-artists such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift, both of whom have previously withheld music from streaming services.
"This is a minor issue for Adele, but a major issue for the streaming services," digital analyst Mark Mulligan told The New York Times. "For two years running, they've not had the biggest album of the year."
That's not an overstatement; The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Billboard are all tipping 25 to be easily the most monstrous album of the year — if not the century to date, with estimated first-week sales figures landing between the 2.5 million to 3.6 million mark, which, as the reports note, are the sorts of figures that haven't been routinely seen since CDs' peak at the turn of the millennium (when 'N*Sync managed comparable numbers in the first week of release for No Strings Attached).
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Spotify, for its part, remains optimistic about the album's eventual place on its service, saying in a 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."
If you're one of those 24 million, best cross those fingers. For non-streaming users, however, 25 is available now.