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Adele’s Record Breaking Numbers For “25” Cause Industry Experts to Question Music’s Business Model

Adele “25” XL/Columbia Records

Billboard Magazine and the music industry find themselves in what has been described as “a teachable moment” in the wake of Adele’s historic and record breaking 3.38 million first week sales of her third album 25. Now, as Billboard is reporting that 25 could have a record-breaking second consecutive million-selling week, music’s elite are trying to figure out if this is a feat of Adele serving as a music biz profit, in more ways than one, or if XL Recordings and Columbia Records have landed on a post-digital industry roll-out plan that delivers mass unit sales as a result. This is particularly important because the in-depth analysis has put the industry’s digital media business practices up for debate.

Expert sources estimate that Adele’s decision to withhold 25 from streaming services like Apple Music would have resulted in her selling anywhere between 300,000 to 500,000 less. Perhaps the question to ask is why is such a figure being published with such confidence, and what does it mean for the streaming arm of the music business. F.Y.I., although Columbia’s parent company, Sony Music Entertainment haven’t confirmed, data indicates that 25’s international sales through the first week are estimated to be around 7 million units.

Legendary record executive and Sony Music chief creative officer Clive Davis reacted to this analysis saying:

“This is a clarion call to everyone in the industry to look for the unique, the special and not reduce music to a formula.”

“It’s exciting for the music ­business,” says Ryan Seacrest, host of the nationally syndicated On Air With Ryan Seacrest radio show. His home station, LAs’ KIIS-FM, is credited with leading the way on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Network uniformly embracing Adele’s “Hello” single.

“It shows that there’s still a mass, mainstream audience for music”, Seacrest said. “People who want it will go out and get it.”

For more insights related to Billboard’s in-depth analysis, including a reaction to Adele’s record breaking sales from retail experts, other record executives, and Taylor Swift, click here.