Skip to main content

Adele And The Benefits Of Streaming

Adele's new album, 25, sold bucketloads in its first week on sale - breaking sales records on both sides of the Atlantic.

Was this because she kept the album off streaming services, in spite of it or did it make no difference at all?

Early reports were that the majority of 25's sales were physical copies of the album - CDs. That tells you a great deal about the sort of people who buy Adele's albums. The chances are that these people would have bought the album whatever was happening on the streaming services.

The remainder of the buyers will be made up of those who would have bought anyway but just haven't embraced the streaming model yet (those people who still buy stuff on iTunes), people who bought because they couldn't wait to hear the album and would have normally streamed it; and various PR and label schemes to boost sales numbers.

The smallest of those numbers is almost certainly the middle one. People who have paid out for a streaming subscription seem to me to be the people least likely to go and buy an album.
So it's likely that withholding the album from streaming services resulted in few additional album sales.

What it certainly did do was deny the artist and other rights holders the income stream that the combined might of 100+ million streaming service users would have provided.

If we estimate that 25% (generously) would have listened to the album at least once that's around 275m plays. At the average rate of $0.007 per stream that services end up paying, that's around $2m that was left on the table. I can't imagine that there would have been fewer streams.  And of course  the streaming model is a gift that keeps giving.
Who benefits most from Adele's decision to keep 25 off streaming services? Other artists, that's who. Because the streaming model pays a proportional slice of a fixed pie to anyone who had songs streamed over a month the absence of 25 from streaming services means that every other artist is better off as a result.
I doubt that was the intended result though...


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…