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ADELE STREAMING: THE RADIO EXCEPTION

"Adele isn't streaming her new album," while pithy as a headline, isn't technically accurate.

While the megastar and her team have declined to make her new XL/Columbia blockbuster, 25 (now on track to sell as much as A BAJILLION AND A HALF in its first week), available via Spotify or Apple Music, songs from the set can be heard on Pandora, iHeartRadio and other streaming-radio services, including Apple Music radio stations. 

The difference, of course, is that Spotify and Apple Music have on-demand services that allow listeners to play albums in their entirety (or however they like) as many times as they like. It's been argued (though the jury is still out) that this form of listening cannibalizes sales.

Lead single "Hello" is the one exception, and can be played on-demand on all these services until the cows come home. Which is indeed what's happening.

Streaming radio, on the other hand, is comparatively "non-interactive." It enables listeners to create stations based on artists or songs, and songs are then chosen based on algorithms and other "curation" tools. Like other forms of radio, it's frequently claimed, the plays on these services drive impressions and desire for the music. And like other forms of radio, it's governed by a compulsory license. And yes, it generates some revenue, dwarfed though it may be by the album's ridiculously huge sales.

Pandora has reported that the addition of material from 25 has pushed the artist's station adds up 1,200%.

iHeart, meanwhile, recently blasted out a special with live versions of several 25 songs and other content across its streaming platform (as well as a ton of terrestrial stations).

 

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