Why I Will Not Buy Adele’s New Album 25


I remember the moment I first heard Adele’s album 21. It was exactly 15 minutes after hearing “Rolling In The Deep” on Madison, WI’s adult alternative radio station, Triple M. I was passing through my home town en route to NYC to begin a massive 60 date tour supporting Ron Pope. It was March 10th, 2011. It was one of those songs that just stopped you in your tracks. Something so different from everything else on the radio at the time that I instantly fell in love. I drove straight to the nearest Target, bought the CD and popped it in my car’s CD player. Sifting through the liner notes I noticed my Minneapolis pal Dan Wilson co-wrote a couple songs. After the first full listen I tweeted him.

I can’t say I’ve called many things, but, hell, I called this. Mind you, this was long before the world knew Adele. “Rolling” was still just starting to get played on AAA radio and hadn’t cracked top 40 yet. Go me.

Fast forward to November 20th, 2015. I will not be driving to Target to buy the new Adele CD. Why? Because I don’t buy CDs anymore. The process of importing a CD into a computer (which no longer has a CD drive) and then making sure the track listing is correct, then dragging the files to my “iPhone” playlist to then transferring to my iPhone while it goes through the 17 steps of Synching, so I can just listen to the damn thing does not happen anymore. Will I download it on iTunes? Nope! Why not? Because I haven’t downloaded a single song since Spotify launched in the US and I began paying $9.99 a month for it. And I don’t have anymore space on my 64GB iPhone (seriously).

Before you chastise me for not supporting musicians, please note, that I am an indie musician supporting myself on my music. And also, I’d like to point you to my vinyl collection of about 100+ albums (all purchased within the past 2 years – when I got my turntable). Many of them new. See, thanks to Spotify, I am able to fall in love with albums that I would have normally never heard. Like Alabama Shakes Sound and Color. I first heard the title track on a Spotify playlist I subscribed to and had the similar feeling I had when I first heard “Rolling in the Deep” on Triple M. But instead of driving to Target, I listened to the album on Spotify, over and over and over and over again, at home, at the gym, in the car, everywhere, to the point that when I saw the vinyl record at Barnes and Noble I ponied up the $30 and bought it.

Had Alabama Shakes boycotted Spotify, not only would I most likely not know about this brilliant new record, but I wouldn’t have purchased the vinyl, shared the music en masse online (via Spotify), become a small part of their 50+ million plays on Spotify or pay $20 to go to their concert or buy a $20 T-shirt at the show.

That’s the thing, Spotify has enabled me to discover, fall in love and support so much more music than I ever could have before. I now make (and subscribe to) playlists of artists who I’ve never heard of, but am quickly falling in love with and will support 100x over through other avenues because they shared their music with me. Gave me access. Welcomed me into their world. They enabled me to listen to their music in a way that makes sense to me. Now. Today. In 2015. And that’s as a music fan. As an artist, it’s helped fans from around the world discover my music. A song I released a few months back got included on a UK Best New Music Monday Spotify playlist and shot my song to 30,000 plays in a week with zero promotion money behind it. The aforementioned Ron Pope has said that Spotify is the single reason why he is selling out venues around the world and thousands of fans are singing along to his music every night. And he’s an indie artist. And worldwide superstar, Ed Sheeran, echoes Ron’s sentiments.

+No One Wants To Talk Numbers When It Comes To Streaming, Well Here Are Mine

Withholding music from streaming in 2015 is for one reason: greed. And I don’t like artists who are greedy.

We can say that the label is pulling the strings, but if Taylor Swift proved anything, it’s that at the end of the day, the artist has the control. Especially artists as huge as Adele and Swift. If Adele wanted her album on Spotify and Apple Music it would be on Spotify and Apple Music.

I know people think that by “Windowing” this album (like 21 was windowed for a year and a half) is a smart move. It’s not.

2015 is not 2011.

In 2011, Spotify had about 23 million active users (worldwide). In 2015, Spotify has 75 million active users and Apple Music has 15 million. Add in Deezer’s 6 million, Rdio, Amazon and now YouTube Music, and you have well over 100 million music lovers actively streaming music. Hell, if we just looked at YouTube, and their 1 billion active users, most turn to YouTube first to listen to music.

Music fans want to stream. They’ve experienced it. And they like it. They’re never going back to clunky file transfers, data capacity restrictions, or, gasp, plastic discs.

Sure, Adele’s opening week sales will kill. But they would have killed had she been on Spotify or not.

Taylor Swift is on Apple Music, but not Spotify. She claims it’s because Spotify’s freemium model devalues music and somehow, Apple Music’s 3 month free trial doesn’t. Hmm.

But Adele won’t be on either. How much money do you need? The extra couple hundred thousand bucks you’re going to get in first week sales is really worth the negative backlash from music lovers who have fallen in love with a new way to experience music?

Artists and labels were late to downloads too back in the early 2000s. Same arguments. Same backwards thinking. “It devalues our art!” They screamed. No, it’s just that so many labels were shitting out 10 tracks of flop with 1 single and forcing people to pay $18 for a single song that the labels (and artists) were pissed that they couldn’t get paid $18 for one good song anymore. This was the golden age of the music business? This was the LOW POINT of the music industry! Shaking down fans was not a smart, long-term business strategy.

And then suing them when they found a better way to get the songs they wanted wasn’t smart either. Remember that? The RIAA sued 35,000 music fans for illegally downloading because they thought that was the way to solve the problem. Remember how that ended? Hint: The RIAA realized they were being stupid, that the strategy was backfiring, that suing music’s biggest fans wasn’t curbing the problem and that digital was here to stay. Instead of innovating and giving the customers what they want, the labels (and many artists) told them they were wrong for wanting it and punished them for getting it.

So now, the same block heads leading the industry (or Adele’s career) are, once again, trying to force music fans to do it their way. Completely ignoring the fact that you can’t force consumers to go backwards once they’ve tasted the future.

We’re never going back to sales. There are many more ways to support music creators that makes sense to fans and artists in 2015 than simply record sales.

Just because I don’t want to purchase a plastic disc or batch of digital files doesn’t mean I don’t support music. It just means that I put my love of convenience above my love of Adele. And sadly, Adele isn’t making it very convenient to listen to her album.

But had it been on Spotify, had I listened and fallen in love, I may have gone to Amoeba Music and bought the vinyl. I may have purchased tickets to her show and bought some merch. But now, I’m done with Adele. I don’t care for greedy artists.


Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music business advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

186 Responses

  1. Versus

    This argument makes no sense.
    Adele may not “need” more money, but many artists do. That is not “greed”. Streaming does not replace the lost income due to sales.

    • Anonymous

      Hope Ari’s looper career takes off, cuz his writing one is over after this hilarity.

    • rita

      Hi Adele new ablum is fantastic, this lady took a lot of time of to care for her child, and as an only child herself by a single mom, living in london in a concil house yes I understand why she would not stream it, money was never easy coming to her or her mother, dam right she is going to make sure her own family is looked after as her mom is now, good for you Adele, if you love this album you would but it no matter what, I am a music lover and only purchase what I truly love and this I do, even her song we were young is all about her friends growing up with her, if she can spend a lot of time MAKING THIS FOR US, THEN OF COURSE iLL BUY IT, IN CLOSEING I have ABBA album one of th first I passed it on to my daughter who grew up listening to them as I loved them back then, the point is so nice to pass something like that on to your children, as I will hopefully pass on more as I kept them, you really cant pass on a computer can you, at some point you have to clear it out.

  2. G.D.

    Demonizing artists for fighting this battle? Are you serious? It’s not greed, Ari. It’s the LONG GAME.

  3. Ari Ur Such a Dikhead

    It’s not about being greedy. The fact that you would resort to this kind of rhetoric has completely out me off supporting you in any way. Fuck you. I will be unsubscribing from your REDICULOUS emails. You’re a fucking joke. You’re whole gig is based on shtick. Looper pedal nonsense. A great songwriter you ain’t. You can spout all this crap about greed while you know full well that Spotify and ALL other streaming services are not paying artists fairly. It doesn’t matter if an artist has ‘enough money’ to live on. Fuck you! Since when does that have ANYTHING to do with standing up for what’s right. Just because some artists may make a comfortable living doesn’t mean it’s ok for these streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, etc.. to not be transparent and blatantly lie about what they pay, how much they pay, and to who they pay. Again I say FUCK YOU for bullshit diatribe on streaming. Oh and formthe record, I don’t even listen to Adele. I couldn’t care less if she has a new record out. I’ve never even heard the old one as hard as that will be for a dickhead like you to believe. Man, when I first found you website (ArisTake) I was really a fan of what you were trying to do (not musically, because honestly I think the whole looper schtick is a bunch of nonsense) in regards to helping other DIY musicians even if it is just another means of trying to get people to listen to your “music” and “tip” you for the info. I gotta say though, this whole line of “greed” being the reason artists don’t want to support some of these truly greedy streaming services is just fucked. Again I say, fuck you. I’m not anti-streaming, I’m anti greedy streaming comapanies telling us to bend over and take while they make hundreds of millions of dollars off of content creators while saying they are losing money. Fuck them and fuck you you talentless prick.

    • John Sanders

      At least Ari stands for something and shows his name. In fact i think you’re the ” Dikhead ” here, your comment reads like a 8 year old on a tantrum! Oh, and remember Mr anonymous, until you know who you are, all your knowledge is just learned ignorance !

      • Ed

        Really? Ari’s “standing for something”? What, the right to NOT pay for an album that an artist has put ‘on sale’? And having the NERVE to call that greed??
        Simply the dumbest argument in creation.

        Its the artist’s property – they have a right to give it away or more importantly NOT give it away at any time they want. If he’s moaning about taking a stand and not buying the album because its not on streaming, then he wasn’t going to purchase it in the first place. Makes zero difference.
        Does Hollywood throw their brand new movies out on Netflix streaming the same day they release it in the theaters? No. Why? Because that’d be a stupid f#$% idea. Yet, this guy is mad that a musician has the nerve to sell her album.
        Streaming is a great technology, but Adele declined streaming ’25’ because they couldn’t guarantee that they’d make it exclusive to paying Spotify customers. So basically, they planned on giving it away. So Adele took her long hard hours and months of writing, rehearsing and recording her album/ product elsewhere.

        And lo and behold, she’s sold more albums than anyone over the past 15 years.

    • Chieftan

      Take it easy. It’s beyond obvious, that the author is an ignorant youth, whom has not spent 5 minutes, or 5 bucks on a-class studio time, in order to release internationally. He obviously doesn’t care that half of the artist’s sound (and soul) is lost through data compression when streaming. He obviously hasn’t checked any vinyl source for the Adele album, either.He didn’t need to mention that he is an “indie” artist. Everything in his writing points to the fact that he is a blow-hard poser. However: attacking him like you did, is akin to repeatedly kicking a puppy with Downes Syndrome. Pointless. Nature will take care of the DS pup.

      • Ed

        Hahaha, I don’t see any thumbs up buttons here. I need one for this…haha, yes please – no kicking puppies with down syndrome.

    • Ed

      Haha, LOVE your response to this article! 🙂
      Dead on – this is the dumbest argument ever. Actually trying to demonize someone for selling their own product because we should all expect it for free. “F#$% You is right! hahaha

      And after an article like this calling Adele’s people DUMB???
      HMMM, lets see – the album literally became the FASTEST selling album of the past 15 to 20 years. Now wait, who’s dumb???

  4. Matt

    I stopped reading when you headed down a path of trying to convince us that you needed to discover whether Adele’s new album would be good by streaming it first. This, after proving your cred by how you initially discovered her for yourself and professing how much you enjoyed her previous albums.

    It’s 2015, quit whining in 25,000 words or more. Get over yourself.

  5. Randy

    Taylor Swift is the one who stopped the free trial on Apple Music. Remember? It was not that long ago. Are you on drugs?

    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      That’s inaccurate. Swift’s complaint prompted Apple to pay a per-stream royalty rate during the free trial, instead of $0 per stream (as contractually defined). After that, Swift agreed to participate in the free trial.

      The royalty rate on Apple Music’s free trial for artists in general (not sure if there was a special deal for Swift) was $0.002 per stream. Depending on the artist and situation, that is lower than Spotify (but higher than YouTube).

      For those reasons, Ari is wondering what logic Swift applied to stay on Apple and YouTube, but not Spotify.

  6. Anonymous

    You are not the norm. Most people do not have a record player, and will not purchase vinyl. They also do not always want to advertise the artist they are listening to with a t-shirt. Hell, most of us are closet fans.

    You say “We’re never going back to sales. Everybody please, for god’s sake, get this through your thick, money-hungry, skulls.”, yet you speak of buying things to support the artist. Maybe I just want the music and I do not care about materialistic things, nor do I want a bunch of music memorabilia around my place.

    • Vanessa

      Exactly! Who needs closets full of band tees? I’d rather have the album, digital or otherwise. As a musician, I hate being told that I have to come up with *other* things to sell my fans. Why isn’t it enough just to sell them my music?

      • Nellie

        You don’t have to do anything. But you can make a lot more money if you sell merch. It’s as simple as that.

      • Tim Wood

        Simply because, you cannot control the supply or distribution of recordings any more. By cruel high-school economics, the marginal cost of music is approaching zero. You can pay to get it legally, or incur the shrinking risk of consequences and get it illegally.

        When merch gets super-easy to knock off with cheap 3-D printers, that will crash too.

  7. Tim

    Always was and will be a fan of you Ari, but calling Adele greedy for striking while the kettle is hot is pretty… odd. Why wouldn’t she? Just because you consume your music one way doesn’t mean the world needs to do so in kind. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to album releases. Admonishing an artist for wanting their albums to be released a certain way of their choosing is silly, and above you Ari. Food for thought. Keep up the good work!

    • Anon

      Sidenote: Let’s not pretend that the artists are the ones making these decisions. It’s a fallacy to pretend that the artists themselves are in control of the way that their masters are released.

  8. The Music Guy

    You can listen to Spotify for free, save $10 a month and buy an album from an Indie artist or go to a live show. That’s supporting music!

  9. The Music Guy

    You sound like a spoiled brat that has to justify $10 a month to Spotify. You mentioned not knowing Alabama Shakes without Spotify, but unless you live in a basement 24/7 only streaming Spotify, you would have seen or heard them 50 other places. I call BS on that.

    You can listen to Spotify for free, save $10 a month and buy an album from an Indie artist or go to a live show. That’s supporting music!

  10. DavidB

    I know I’m old-fashioned, but so are a lot of other people, and we still buy CDs. Maybe not as many as we used to, but for anything that I think will be a permanent part of my music life, I still get a CD. In the last year I have bought at least 6 CDs: by Lianne La Havas (x2), Julia Holter, Flo Morrissey, Kate Havnevik, and Scott Walker. And I already know I will be buying one on January 8 next year.

  11. Vanessa

    It’s not greed. She has the right to decide what she wants to do with her music, as do I, as do you. Someone electing to follow a different model than the one you are supporting isn’t wrong, they are just doing it differently than you are. Your post was weirdly virulent (“Makes me SICK” is a bit over the top) and dismissive of an artist you claim to have loved in the past. What gives you the right to bash her for a decision that is, ultimately, her own?

  12. Vanessa

    I see that you’ve edited the post from the original – what landed in my mailbox was:
    “But now, I’m done with Adele. I don’t care for greedy artists. They make me sick.”

  13. Vanessa

    I see that you’ve edited your original post. What landed in my mailbox was:
    “But now, I’m done with Adele. I don’t care for greedy artists. They make me sick.”

  14. Mateja

    I wouldn’t be too upset, Ari. My take is, Adele just gave all users of streaming services the permission to go ahead and download the album illegally. Stupid, but hey. It’s their business.

    She and her label didn’t refuse to release the new single on all streaming services. It sold like hot cakes and got a huge number of streams. You would think that would encourage them to release the album, too. But no, they want all the sales records. They want to sell as many albums as possible this Christmas period. Don’t be too surprised if the album appears on all streaming services on Friday, January 1st, 2016.

  15. Conciseinator

    Here, I re-wrote your article for you:

    “Adele didn’t put her latest album on Spotify, so now I can’t listen to it before deciding if I like it. If I could listen to it on Spotify and I loved it, I’d probably go buy it on vinyl or buy tickets to her show. I’ve discovered new artists this way on Spotify that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about – like Alabama Shakes.

    Music fans love to use streaming services, and Adele should put her music on Spotify so her fans can listen to it. It’s the future of music. Many succeseful artists are selling out venues for live shows from fans they’ve built up on streaming services”

    Same story – Saved you a 1,311 words.

  16. really?

    Sorry, but this piece has the feel of something written by a sixteen-year-old girl.

  17. Adam

    Wow dude, I’m surprised. You’re actually going to critics artists for fighting the good fight because you want your personal music experience to be more convenient for you?? And you’re going to call the artists greedy? Ouch. I’d think that an artist like you would want to see artists like Adelle have a moment to gross huge amounts of income, as well as exercise their one moment of “control” (if that’s what you’d even call it) against the powers that be in the industry. I’m honestly shocked that you wrote this article, I guess I’ve been misreading you all along. What a bummer to hear.

    Sure, Spotify is convenient. But is it REALLY anything more than a sound pyramid scheme for the investors, labels and banks, riding off the backs of the content creators until they can sell out on a stock offer?? I think we all know re answer to this one.

    Have the musicians backs, Ari, you’re one of them. And I know you personally know better than to imply that we can all make money off the pathetic streaming royalties you so adamantly claim will make Adelle rich… Guess what? We aren’t all Adelle and many musicians will never be in an “Adelle situation” like this.

    It’s in every musician’s best interest to run their career and release their music In a way that maximizes their chances.

    You, I and Adelle all know that she’d be a fool to do this any other way and that she’s making a very sound and intelligent business decision. And she gets to piss off the streaming executives, which is worth twice as much money as she’d ever make.

  18. EricMakesMusic

    Thank You Ari! I was considering writing this article myself but you beat me to it. And you made the same points I would have made.

    I don’t purchase songs on iTunes either. Not just because I don’t have space in my phone (which I don’t) but because I have a preferred method of listening to my favorite songs – and that system involves finding new music, favoriting and enjoying on Spotify.

    What Taylor and Adele (two of my favorite artists) fail to realise is that fans want to listen to music THE WAY THEY WANT TO LISTEN. I know people who only listen to music on YouTube. Some only use Spotify or Apple. Some use iTunes. Some still listen to CDs. Music is supposed to be EVERYWHERE so that we can experience it the way that we want. Trying to control that experience is NOT fighting for artist rights – it’s aligning with the dinosaurs who refuse to accept this industry’s inevitably evolution.

    Kudos to you for writing this article. You’ll get a lot of hate for it but you’ve gained my respect (if that counts for anything)

    Eric Campbell

    • DavidB

      “Music is supposed to be EVERYWHERE so that we can experience it the way that we want”

      And the entitled brats who think this way accuse artists of being greedy!

  19. Anonymous

    there’s nothing wrong with “windowing” albums. the film industry learned this when DVD pirating began to cut into their bottom line. funny how the music industry never took a cue from the film industry. ego.

    adele’s team and taylor swift’s team are just adopting “windowing”, let them. it’s their perogative. it’ll show up on streaming services within the next few weeks.

  20. Mooney

    I love spotify, and spend a lot of time building and sharing playlists with people online.

    It is also a great tool for me to share little known bands with like-minded folks.

    My band is on there (I haven’t seen a cent, but that has more to do with our former record company than Spotify), and we also sell physical media at shows. It takes what, like $250 to do a small run of CD prints (that look legitimate anyway). It costs much less to get an album up on Spotify, and I can print off scores of QR codes with links that the kids can use with the phones to get instant access to our music.

    Also, it doesn’t hurt me if an artist isn’t on Spotify. I mean, I do not enjoy Adele’s music in any manner, so her being on Spotify doesn’t matter in the slightest for me. I do notice some bands absence from the service (Tool for instance), but with all the other music available on there I can find plenty of music to fill the space.

  21. A. Brown

    I usually love your articles, but I can’t agree with you this time. You didn’t mention the songwriters, the craftsmen who aren’t performing artists, who are hit the hardest. Their money is made from mechanicals – physical sales, (unless they are fortunate enough to land the single). Until the copyright laws change, and streaming rates improve, non-performing co-writers should matter in the equation, shouldn’t they? Yes, Adele will make a ton of money (why shouldn’t she), but breaking sales records delivers other benefits, just as roles in huge blockbuster movies benefit actors, but perhaps she’s also considering her co-writers.

  22. Seth Keller

    Hey Ari:

    I think it’s weird and kind of sad that people attack you personally and condescend when they don’t agree with what you write, but I think you know it’s coming when you post these pieces. It’s kind of predictable.

    That being said, I do agree with the bulk of the sentiment that it’s not about greed with Adele or Swift, it’s about smart business…for those two superstar artists.

    Streaming is the present and the future. I agree. I have a paid Spotify account and don’t buy CDs any more (although I do occasionally buy downloads for my kid). That said, if you are a bonafide superstar–not just a popular Top 40 artist–the rules are different.

    Projections are that 25 will sell 2.5 million albums in week one in the US alone. That tells me there aren’t a lot Adele fans who will be disappointed the album isn’t streaming.

    As far as the money goes, more power to her to get as much as she can. I don’t see it as greedy. Greedy is big artists scalping their own tickets or charging $10,000 for a backstage meet and greet. An individual person capitalizing on her extraordinary popularity and making as much money as she can with her recorded music while obviously not alienating her core fans (of which there are millions) is not greedy.

    You also have to remember that people like you who are musicians and true music fans, who buy vinyl and who go to many shows a year are not the core Adele and Taylor fans. Their fans–while devoted to them–are more casual fans of music. For Adele, most are female, millions are older, and almost none are music hipsters.

    The game is different depending who you are as an artist. If you’re in an elite group of one or two, you play by your own rules. In football, the rules for Tom Brady are different than they are for Drew Brees even though they’re both All Pro quarterbacks. It’s the same in music. There’s Adkins and Swift and then everybody else. Their decisions have no bearing on the direction of the business. Their decisions are strictly what’s right for them.

    • FallofKnowledge.com

      Amen Seth! I would also add:

      The current model spotify et al use to pay artists is shameful. Major artists don’t need exposure or discovery platforms, which is the ONLY selling point for spotify et al. When artists get properly compensated from streaming, I guarantee you won’t see 1 complaint from anyone.

      Also Ari spoke of “Negative backlash” – These same ppl are the ones who believe artists are a bunch of self-entitled whiners who should get a ‘real job’ if they don’t like ppl stealing their music. They are not ‘music lovers’, but convenience lovers, and their opinions have no bearing on anyone’s career.

  23. [email protected]

    This might be the silliest article ever put up by DMS. And that’s saying something. Apparently streaming still doesn’t pay enough to buy a clue.

  24. DavidB

    BTW, before someone says Adele should make her money from touring (yawn), it’s worth recalling that people may have good reasons for not touring, of which at least two apply to Adele: she has a young child, and she has medical issues with her voice. There’s a new interview mentioning this: “Adele played her cards close to her chest when discussing touring. “I always wish I had the nerve to do a few more things,” she said. “I would love to tour, I really would.” But she listed anxiety on stage, vocal health, and her motherhood as reasons not to hit the road.”

  25. pavement chaser

    I heard Adele before you while on tour in Europe. My mobile device has more gigs than yours. I work out more than you. Nanny nanny boo boo.
    But big ups on getting people to click on your post. I’m certain it will translate into a lucrative via streaming long-term singer songwriter career.

  26. Anonymous

    Music delivery services/streaming services absolutely devalue music. Each platform places more value on the delivery service itself than the product. They pay themselves significantly more than the content owners. Without the product, the delivery service doesn’t exist. It’s total garbage.

    And in each of these pro-Spotify anti-label articles I read by supposed music industry people, the songwriters and publishers (who are absolutely getting the shit end of everything) consistently go unmentioned.

  27. There is something...

    I will say it again but:

    There is NO point in debating what people like Adele or TS do. They are de 0.0000001%. Their business models have nothing in common with you or me.

    Those endless debates about the tiny portion of artists who can do whatever they want because they’re so huge are so pointless. It needs to stop.

  28. Jason Miles

    I am so happy to read the many responses here to know that I am not crazy. Ask any quality songwriter how they are doing these days and you’ll get not a very enthusiastic answer-I always have said back in the day and I mean pre 2000 I knew very few who weren’t making living in the business-There were so many moving parts. Now we have a few guys calling the shots and creating this bullshit new paradigm of the haves and have nots
    Bravo Adele!

  29. T

    Buy it on iTunes. If you can’t afford $9.99 on an artist who’s previous album you loved then you’re obviously not making enough money selling tshirts and posters. And use Apple Music – you can stream it from your cloud library alongside their catalog.

    • DavidB

      Good point. The same applies to Amazon, except they sell CDs as well as downloads. If you buy a CD or download from Amazon (not counting ‘marketplace’ purchases) you can stream or download it at any time from the Amazon music service, which invalidates much of what Ari says about the inconvenience of buying CDs.

    • There is something...

      Yeah, that one was a poor excuse.

      If you own a CD or digital album, jut put it in your iTune library and it will go on your Apple Music library too.
      It takes like 10 seconds to do it. I think you can afford 10 seconds of your precious life…

  30. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    I feel like there’s something really big being missed in both this analysis and all the comments. Why can’t Adele simply offer her album to premium-only Spotify fans? That is what Ari is, he’s not ad-supported, which is where all the problems come in.

    Last time around, Adele refused to put 21 on Spotify because Spotify refused to cordon off her album to paying subscribers. Is that Adele’s fault? Is it fair to criticize her for that? Who’s really being inflexible here?

    I applaud Adele for taking a stand, especially if she was refused by Spotify in the same manner as 21. Frankly, the big loser is Spotify, because fans typically have no idea of the inner machinations of the music industry, but when they hear an artist they love going against a big platform, they simply think, ‘oh, guess Spotify is bad,’ or worse, ‘guess they are screwing artists’ etc.

    That’s the reality, sometimes perception equals reality. Then again, there is something to that perception: Spotify does pay, indeed, but they are willing participants in a system that, well, systematically screws artists. It’s not enough to just say, ‘we pay labels,’ because that’s knowingly obtuse and simply attempts to pass all responsibility to the other guy (even though the labels own a very large chunk of Spotify). It’s a bullshit game, and one that benefits a very small group of Spotify and label investors and executives.

    “Let’s just be honest, let’s just be real” to quote a popular song. Spotify will continue to suffer fallouts like these until these matters are addressed, and dealt with.

    Until then, I’m not sure the blame should be pinned on Adele. She’s doing what’s best for Adele, just like Spotify is doing what’s best for Spotify. Everyone else suffers.

    See the problem here?

    • NotFree

      So why isn’t it on Apple Music, which doesn’t have a free tier and pays higher streaming royalties?

      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        Not sure, except to say that Apple does have a very substantial freemium aspect (even though it’s limited to 3 mos.). Last report they have 15 mm total users, of which 6.5 mm were paying; that’s more than 50% freemium and lower-royalty.

        • industryman

          Apple wins regardless… I am sure they’d love to push apple music but they got Zane Lowe interviews + Beats1 exclusives and will be the biggest digital distributor of this album…

          They can afford to not stream it..

  31. GGG

    I don’t get how not being on Spotify is greedy.

    Ari, please post all of your albums for free in the comment section. You’re being greedy by selling them.

  32. Fellow Minnesotan

    Your a cunt! Income has to be generated for talent to be nurtured. Why shouldn’t Adele be entitled to live a great life. Buy the record and stop killing musicians abilities to live! You can’t focus on art if you spend all your day working a job to pay the bills. Why not just pay musicians money and then they can have time to create! Don’t be stupid you moron!

    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      “Your a cunt” is grammatically incorrect. It’s actually “you’re a cunt,” with “you’re” a contraction of “you are”. In your treatment of the statement, the reader is left thinking that there is a possession of something that is missing (for example, “Your [DOG IS] a cunt!” would make sense); the result is a fragmented, non-sensical statement.

      • Ben

        I feel like this is a pretty smarmy reply, below the standards of a website moderator – all you’re doing is focusing on the grammatical misuse of one word, which somehow invalidates the entire statement. (Which, let’s be fair, was pretty harsh and unnecessary, but did still have a greater point that wasn’t diminished by the lack of apostrophe and letter “e.”)

        • Paul Resnikoff

          Sorry, I’m not ‘validating’ anything that starts out with “Your a cunt!”

          • Thomas

            Okay. So, the next time somebody gives you e.g. a written warning about an immediate danger that is coming at you, do not validate it, let along interpret it at all if there is a typo in the first word.

  33. Why.Should.I.Care

    If you want to give your crappy music away, go for it.

    If Adele or me for that matter want to get paid for our work, then we won’t.

  34. lroosemusic

    Ari, I don’t know that you can call anyone greedy for trying to maximize the income they receive from their profession.

    I think a better way of framing this is that Adele is putting monetization of her existing fan base ahead of growing her fan base. But with a fan base as large has hers, why wouldn’t she?

    Once you have a critical mass of fans superstars like Adele, the bottom line grows faster when you grow income per fan rather than growing the fan base.

    Do I think her move shrinks her fan base in the long term? Absolutely – I’ll never listen to this album just like I never listened to 21. I’m just not a big enough fan to go out and buy the album.

    Do I think her fan base is gigantic and can stand to shrink a bit for the sake of profits in the now? Yup, I do.

  35. ronnie

    you are an idiot.

    the labels want adele on streaming cause labels own spotify.

    adele is smart not to put it on streaming.

    artists need to stick together and not attack each other, ari.

  36. El Cabeza

    Adele and her label can do whatever they want with their music. If they’re too short sighted to realize that making it immediately available for on-demand streaming will only benefit them in the long run is their own problem.

  37. Long time subscriber

    I subscribed to DMN for the news part. Over the last 12 months it’s become a lot more “DMO”…it’s ok to have an opinion, but let’s not pretend that’s news. The click bait is getting worse, and I find most of my news elsewhere. So long DMN

  38. dhenn

    On my way to Target to buy the cd and put it in my computer, which does have a cd port and if it didn’t I’d buy one because I WANT a copy of the damn CD!!! Fans and industry people ask me for CD’s every day! The greed argument is bullshit. ALL artists need to fight for higher streaming rates. As an idie artist I’m withholding my newest release from Spotify for at least 6 months while it’s been gathering reviews and airplay, which is selling CD’s and downloads for me. People can stream it on MY website if they want and I’m very upfront about that. My older stuff is on streaming sites because, yeah, great if someone finds it and they want to check it out, awesome, but I’m not going to give them something brand new right away. You can pry my cd’s from my cold dead hands!!! 😉

    • dhenn

      Oh yeah, and I still have all those LP’s that everyone claimed was dead too but now every hipster has to have.

  39. amanda

    I heard half of Adele’s album earlier on today while in a record shop, very average

  40. Ray Miller

    You’re a duchess bag, Adele has no obligation to give her music away, personally, I’m not a big Adele fan, but I support her on this one. I want my favorite artist, to focus on making great music, not live on the road 300 nights a year selling t-shirts. Btw Ari, your music sucks, you have to put it on spotify for free, nobody will buy it.

  41. Sarah smith

    Aww boo hoo you can’t get to listen to every new album for $10 a month. Suck it up. You wanna hear the most anticipated album release in a while, then be prepared to open your bank account.

  42. Amy Engelhardt

    Good for you. Good luck. Just because a technology exists, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Another example of entitled millennials. These specific artists do not “need” the money, but I completely support their right to earn it, just like they would have before this stupid, stupid middleman makes the money model existed.

    PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY FOR MUSIC. Otherwise only those who can afford to make music and not be paid will make music. Just because a technology exists, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Let’s release some viruses we’ve isolated just because we can.

  43. erica

    i agree i am dying to hear it but my mac doesn’t even take CD’s anymore!! i already pay for spotify, i can wait or watch videos on Youtube or something.

  44. Anonymous

    Ari, while I see your point. She is in a position that Alabama Shakes, and other perhaps unknown artists are not. She doesn’t need you as fan if you don’t want to purchase her album. She’s on track to sell 2 plus million of them in a week. A feat that no one since N SYNC has done in 15 years or so. Tell me why she should just be nice and give it away so you “might” buy the vinyl. You’re telling me if you heard a new single on the radio of hers and liked it, you wouldn’t go out and buy the single on itunes atleast? Garth Brooks and The Beatles have never let their music be streamed. They still make money off their sales now. I don’t know if Led Zeppelin does anymore, but they sold their rights to Spotify for millions of dollars. Adele could do the same. Ask Spotify to pay her upfront for rights to the streams. She knows her music is valuable, and an artist of her size is going to cash in on it. It’s not greedy. It’s economics. Artists like you and me who need listeners, so we can actually have fans, are not in this position. They will not make the risk to buy our albums without previous listens. Adele fans will.

  45. Me2

    So, it turns out Adele and co. are collectively less of a corporate tool than Ari is.

  46. BillRayDrums

    If an artist is relying upon one single point of sale to make a buck in the music business then they are shooting themselves in the foot. There’s room for streaming as well as selling your discs to people. Many smaller creeks feed a river, so to speak.

    I choose to look at each “point of play” as “new music stores”. Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, etc. have all replaced the Towers, the Record Bars, Sam Goody, etc. And it’s far easier to get your stuff into these places than it ever was to get into the aforementioned physical outlets.

    There’s so much music out there now; what we’ve been lacking is the curation of new music. That’s what the labels were really about back in their heyday. Technology made it so much easier to crank out an album, a single, a DVD, what have you.

    I’m all for the physical sales of CDs and downloads, but I’m also for the streaming. What you choose to send to streaming services can be a gateway into your deeper catalog that is maybe not streaming enabled and will spur the listeners to acquire your extended catalog.

    Have a great day, y’all. 😀

  47. Alisha

    So glad I stumbled onto this article. Thanks for having the balls to speak the truth. I can’t stand Tay Tay after her very snobbish (and hypocritical) leave from Spotify. Spotify has done the same for me (and also a major reason my vinyl collection is ever growing). If 25 isn’t up on Spotify within a week or two, or she doesn’t publicly speak about why, then I’ll have to consider my fanship too. Music is meant to be shared. Real artists don’t care about the $$. Thanks for writing!

    • BillRayDrums

      “Real Artists don’t care about the $$$”…

      Um, YEAH I care about the $$$!! Thing is, “real artists (usually) don’t think about the $$$.” The idea is to launch that tune or album and THEN figure out how to make a buck.

      If I’m going to remain a “Real Artist” and not have to go get a day job and then become a “Real Artist with a day job” which can put one’s musical endeavors into that bracket called “a hobby”… then hell yeah, money will BE on my mind 24/7! It’s tough enough as it is.

      “Real artists” need to be smarter.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you! If you want to be a professional artist, then caring about money is necessary.

        If you don’t care about money – if you aren’t counting on your music to pay your bills – then you shouldn’t be concerned about any of this because you’re a hobbyist. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you can’t speak for what professional artists should or shouldn’t care about, because you aren’t in their position.

  48. LS

    I knew from the title what your article was going to be about, but it was a great ploy to get clicks. The only reason one would not buy Adele’s album is because they do not like Adele (not likely, since you’re writing an article. And she’s Adele) or because the album wasn’t streaming. The reasons that Adele’s 25 isn’t streaming at launch are fairly obvious, but the arguement in your article is less so. You’re saying you won’t buy it because it isn’t streaming and you only stream music. And I don’t have an optical drive. And I don’t want to drive to Target. And gas is too high. And my iTunes account has a low gift card balance. What?

    Music streaming is great, but the fact that she isn’t streaming has nothing to do with you, me or anyone else. It’s a business decision that many other artists have done in the past. The simple fact that you wrote this article makes it seem like you are offended that the record isn’t streaming and that you wouldnt DARE partake in a form of musical consumption that didn’t originate this decade.

  49. smg77

    This is a fantastic article and it’s made only better by the screeching and wailing of all the luddites in the comment section. Streaming is the future…time to accept that and move forward.

  50. Samer

    Refusing to buying a blockbuster album because it’s not available for stream.

    It’s like refusing to go to the cinema, rent a movie because it’s not available.

    It’s normal for movies not to release there product directly to stream services until they’ve sold it exclusively in the theathres and then rentals/downloads

    That’s the same exact thing but with music. I don’t understand the double standards

    And no one cares that you’re an indie musician. You don’t make any money off your music so your experience as a musician does not make you subject matter expert.

    If you owned a blockbuster piece of media such a movie or song that everyone wants then you would be a subject matter expert. And we would take your opinion seriously.

    You’ve been owned! Thx and have a nice day.

  51. LT

    Good article! Also, if artists make less money from streaming than from conventional distribution, they need to talk to their labels.

    The average royalty deal for CDs and downloads has a 47% cut for labels, 30% for distributors, and 23% for artists.

    The average royalty deal for streaming has a 55% cut for labels, 25% for distributors, and and 20% for artists.

    No wonder why labels start to embrace streaming. In fact, some labels make already more money per customer from streaming than from CDs/downloads.

  52. former Ari follower

    I got this BS article via email from Ari and have now unsubscribed. I think it’s been a couple years since I subscribed with some interesting emails received and some not. While I’m not particularly an Adele fan, wild hair man calling Adele greedy because of his myopic limited tunnel vision views on just about everything and zero inside knowledge and pure conjecture is a waste of reading time. Adele has the right to earn income from her music any honest way she wants. I hope the unsubscribe link in the email actually works.

  53. Ash

    Everyone else has adequately addressed the whole “don’t be greedy” line. I mean, c’mon. I’m getting kind of tired of the constant “you should do this and only this” mentality that seems to be a big thing at DMN and a lot of “independent” music sites and blogs. If you don’t buy CDs, that’s cool. I don’t buy vinyl. The dude down the street still buys albums on iTunes. The kid around the corner still downloads stuff off the latest pirate bay mirror. If there’s one thing that’s clear, is that there will never be a singular form of musical distribution which music fans will buy. If you actually talk to people who aren’t just your small circle of “indie” pals, you’ll realize that everyone purchases (or doesn’t purchase) music in different ways. Some people still like CDs (myself included) but also subscribe to streaming services for convenience on the go. Some people use Spotify free and don’t buy music and others still listen to the radio.

    I assumed everyone had realized that you essentially have to cast a wide net these days, mainly if you’re a newer band or artist. It’s beneficial to have something on every service so that you can connect with the largest audience possible. That being said, when you’re Adele, you can essentially do what you want. Wanting to make a larger return on her advancement or on her albums doesn’t make her “greedy.” We all know the major labels get advances in return for licensing their catalogue and the artists see little to none of it, so how exactly is Adele being greedy by not even bothering with streaming at all? If anything, it makes sense. And you know it will be thrown up on YouTube anyway, so what’s the big deal?

    I say get over it. Gone are the days of every artist succumbing to a linear path.

    • superduper

      I would like to agree with you but I think that it is not true that artists are not succumbing to a linear path. In fact, I think that the hegemony and dogmatism of the tech industry is more limiting consumers’ choices than it is expanding it. Even though I think CDs or SACDs and vinyl should be the dominant format, a balance between formats would also be acceptable. This is not how tech companies want the music industry to be though, as they are hellbent on destroying other formats for there to be only one. They do not want to give music fans any other options of formats to listen to music; rather, they only want you to subscribe to their method and their method only and it would be inexcusable.

  54. Kevon Huntley

    Too bad. It’s your loss because it is a GREAT album. I don’t use that word lightly.

  55. Jack Swift

    First of all, yes, that’s my real name. Second of all, The Cars were a kick ass band. Peace fam.

  56. Deb

    Adele’s decision to withhold her album from streaming is really about reinforcing the big label’s winner take all system in which superstars like Adele and Swift captures all of the revenue. Their claim that they are doing it for the benefit of less successful artists who lack the power to remove their albums from streaming services is disingenuous. The truth is they are doing it to hurt the competition, because streaming services are the great equalizer.

    Under the old model, where you have to purchase entire albums, where did all of that money go? It mostly went to the superstars. Few people were going to pony up $18 for a cd of an artist they had never heard of before. When we went to the single digital purchase, there was a bit more revenue sharing, but still it was those hits being pushed by radio that captured most of the revenue. Now with streaming services, all of sudden their is revenue splitting as the Adele fan doesn’t just listen to that one album over and over again because it is the only cd they purchased recently. Instead they are listening to that album and and several hundred other songs. In the old model all of that listener’s music budget get’s captured by one mega star. In the new model that split the streaming revenue with a hundred other artist.

    I have a sizable vinyl collection left over from the 80’s gathering dust, dozens of tapes – mostly ripped or stretched because that was one terrible medium – and a hundred or so cd’s sitting around even though I haven’t touched them in a couple of years and a digital library with a few thousand tracks. The reason I never listen to any of this purchased music is that I now just stream it all. I started streaming with Rhapsody five years ago and switched to Spotify recently after doing a head to head three month test between it and Apple Music. The main reason I choose Spotify was because it was recommending to me little known artists, some of them with only a handful of streams a month and I was loving them. Meanwhile, Apple’s For You seems to be designed by the labels, pushing over and over the same big name artists. When you can create playlists entitled “Introduction to Artist X” they probably need no introduction. No wonder Swift was happy to stick with Apple as their system seems tailor made for her .

    I really don’t care that Adele isn’t on Spotify. It’s not like I won’t soon grow sick of hearing her latest songs playing repeatedly on the radio and if I do get a burning urge to hear them on demand, I can always head to YouTube. But the truth is that she just has too much competition for me to notice her absence. I currently have 123 songs in my “2015 Favorites So Far” playlist, another 90 in my “Favorites Currently” and another 500 or so spread over a dozen personal playlists. There’s my weekly “Discovery” playlist to keep up with along a dozen or so Spotify and user created playlists that I listen to regularly, not to mention the dozens upon dozens of albums I’ve added to my library that I mean to listen to someday real soon now and all of those interesting sounding playlists I just haven’t gotten around to sampling and yeah, I just don’t have enough hours in my life to listen to everything I already know I love, let alone get around to the stuff I don’t know that I love yet.

    It’s a new day in music land where money is going to be made upon tens of millions of listens like me and I can see where people like Swift and Adele have seen the writing on the wall and aren’t liking it one bit.

  57. Me2

    I’m not about to rush to the defense of the “old model” as you put it, but the idea that streaming is the “great equalizer” is laughable at best.

    If anything, the virtualized economy is just a faster, friction-less way to arrive at the same place and perhaps even at a larger degree of inequality.

    Yes, the internet lied to you. Deal.

    Meet the new boss.. look into the co-option of streaming services by the usual suspects, look into black box lack of transparency, look into the back-door deals that have escaped NDA’s, look into the preferential rate setting for majors.

    What Swift and Adele don’t seem to like are low payouts under the streaming model. If the money was there, they’d be on it. And they ARE the superstars. How would it be any better for the indies (hint. we already know it isn’t)

  58. Sean London

    The most ridiculous argument regarding the current state of the music industry I have read to date. ‘Cutting off your nose to spite your face’ comes to mind.

  59. Angribov

    Greed? If you have a bit of brain, you can understand that supporting someone who sponge on you and other musicians is bad for yourself in a first place. Doesn’t matter how much hype is around so called “streaming”.
    Sure, they make it more convenient and cheap for the consumer but on cost of destroying independent music ecosystem. Because those streaming guys don’t care about you at all. They are just parasites and for them it is doesn’t matter what to sell. When they will screw the musicians they will move to something else.

    • Aint it the truth

      Agree 100%

      So here in a modern economy apparently some of us shouldn’t have a say about where to sell or not to sell.

      Nothing but a choir of disgusting, pile-on shaming. Why? Because the release plans didn’t include immediately slashing a new product, one that would sell, ad sell big on it’s own steam, in order to subsidize an opportunistic, glorified clearing house? Huh?

      Adele didn’t let her fans down, it was those who fostered expectations that music should be “everywhere” and “free”, and unlimited, all for 9.99 a month.There’s your answer, Fishbulb.

      With a bit of thought, it should become clearer where the “Greed” actually is.

      Or maybe not.. so much shit pumped into the new earballs over the years we now have at least two generations of screen-addled, commie drones.

  60. SKISS

    “I am an indy musician supporting myself on music”.. that’s great man. But Adele is supporting thousands of people on her music, including songwriters, producers, assistant producers, engineers, assistant engineers, small shop hardware manufacturers, runners, everyone who makes coffee in the studio wishing they could be the next adele…

    Just cause you give your music away for zero return value doesn’t mean everyone should brah

  61. Anonymous

    There’s just something ‘strange’ about the notion of “If I like someone’s music…I should buy their T Shirt”. I’m not anti-merch. It’s cool and should be a part of most artists strategy. But I can think of 100 examples of artists whose music I love, but I would never want their T Shirt, or poster or whatever.

    Also… does this ‘real artists don’t care about $’ mentality exist in any other industry? Do ‘real chefs’ just love to cook and not care if their restaurant remains viable or do ‘real actors’ not care about paying their bills?
    Is this phenomenon exclusive to music?

    • Name2

      There’s just something ‘strange’ about the notion of “If I like someone’s music…I should buy their T Shirt”. I’m not anti-merch. It’s cool and should be a part of most artists strategy. But I can think of 100 examples of artists whose music I love, but I would never want their T Shirt, or poster or whatever.

      Unlike ticketfly purchases or music downloads, merch revenue is the only thing getting right in the artist’s bloodstream. For some tours, it’s the only difference between red and black when those human beings get back home.

      For those acts choosing to tour… if someone HAS to get out on the road and price their tickets at $15, don’t pat yourself on the back for buying one and “supporting live music”. If that’s all you do, you’re a part of the money drain problem. If I’m really happy to see an act come to my town and play (and the ticket wasn’t $300, in which case, they’re probably doing alright), the only place to show it is at the merch table or in a bathroom stall.

  62. Anon

    Ari’s click-bate self promotional idiocy aside, the issue here is whether there will be any money for musicians to make records or not, and the answer as of now is that the corporations are saying no- they want all of whatever money there, we get nothing.

    The result is, less albums produced, and less quality of whatever is actually released. I don’t remember a time where technology has actually destroyed quality before but that’s what we have here – bedroom ‘studios’ instead of pro studios, a large reduction in sound quality of the delivery media, and a reduction in quality of playback devices, speakers / amplifiers, etc as well. Ironically, technology exists that could make all these things better.

    I’m not a T Shirt salesman. I don’t play cover music at weddings. I make recordings. Or I used to, but really I see no reason too release one now, and I seriously doubt that I’m alone.

    • Tech

      I understand the frustration with tech and music, but tech (especially when disrupting) often does lower quality for other elements, usually ease of use, portability, or share-ability; and then improves quality once the cost for it decreases and/or critical mass embraces the tech with it increasing profitability.

      It’s the Innovator’s Dilemma: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062060244/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0062060244&linkCode=as2&tag=oneforthetab-20&linkId=27T2F36ZK2IHWEQZ

      Cellphones beat landlines, even though landlines had a 99% call success rate. The audio quality is lower on cellphones, and at first drop outs were very common, as was the expense being more than a landline; but cell phone’s portability obviously won.

      Music is a canary in the coal mine; Adele’s record is an anomaly.

    • Deb

      The cost of producing polished, professionally produced music has never been lower. This has caused the barrier to entry to drop. Instead of a handful of performers handpicked for the masses by a a couple of record labels that control access to the market, we now have a flood of music competing for our attention. Throughout history music making has belonged to everyone and those who pursued a livelihood in music, made their income from performance. The notion that the ability to create music is some kind of rare alchemy that must be compensated with mountains of money and accolades lest it all disappear is a very recent and I suspect very brief moment in time.

      The truth is the world is filled with creative people, who find pleasure in creating and sharing things. In a world where much of creativity is shared digitally, scarcity simply doesn’t exist. There are just too many people out there for any but a handful of people to make a lot of money form the creation of original music. This is true not just for music, but for all art forms. In books, photography, games, videos and essentially anything that can be consumed digitally the number of people who want to create original content greatly outstrips the demand. Many people are simply happy to have an audience and care nothing for financial compensation. The presentation of art and I include music in that, is shifting from something created by Very Special People to a recreational past time enjoyed by human beings. Sure there will be those rare individuals who stand out and there will be some who are so determined to devote their life to producing their art that will find a way to monetize it, but it won’t be the norm and honestly that’s not a bad thing.

      • Antinet

        I love reading the theories of non-artists. What a sel-congratulating spectator like you doesn’t grasp is that there is more money than ever being made by major corporations in the arts and media. So your cute little unsolicited opinion is completely inaccurate in calculating the actual cost of all the entertainment of which the best may filter to the top. The price for hacks that noone consumes can be zero, as it always has been, but the price of the mid-range as well as the top artist should be sustainable. Thanks for saying absolutely nothing AGAIN.

        • Me2

          Right. The lower sustainability income and (ostensibly) lower production costs just mean lower budgets, about 10% of what they would have been in the pre intrernet era.

          So you make the product in less than optimal recording environments, with less time, less money for quality producers, players.. In general less goes into it on all levels.

          It’s usually a quite audible difference, exceptions obviously, but you get out what you put in, no?

          The last one to really impress here was Daft Punk. It’s a million dollar record. Won big at the Grammy’s.

          Now we’re all ‘talented’ arguably. Nile Rogers is talented. The guy next door who plays guitar is talented. But I probably in all honesty don’t listen to the latter’s recordings. They’re just not as good. Even if he can’t identify why.

          I’m busy listening to Daft Punk.

        • Deb

          How amazing that you are able to determine my utter lack of artistry based upon a couple of comments. In fact, I consider myself an artist although I choose not to attempt to derive income from art. I suspect though that does not impress you in the least because I don’t have an income stream from it to validate it’s legitimacy. Although music isn’t my principle medium, I am a skilled piano player, with enough music theory to sit down and play something composed on the spot that has the form of “real” music – whatever that is. I’m just not motivated enough to work through the polishing and recording aspects of it. I prefer to spend my creative energies elsewhere. I know a lot of people that are a whole lot better than me at creating original music and most of them have no real desire to monetize it.

          • Anon

            Here’s the thing Deb, I have worked on platinum records that you have heard, as has at least one other person on this thread who is basically saying the same thing.

            You also hear my work every day on TV and films, and while you may or may not have heard my own albums under my own name, I spent literally years crafting them. They represented a loss over working on someone else’s stuff, but still I got paid otherwise I could never have made them. With Apple Music and Spotify’s almost non existent payments, I can’t do that anymore, hence in all likelihood no new music will be coming from me. I will not put my music on those ‘services’ either–it’ll stay on itunes and CD, etc etc.

            Now, playing the piano is not the same as crafting records. Being a T Shirt pusher to one’s friends, is not the same either, and really shouldn’t qualify anyone to spout off on recorded music payments.

          • Anonymous

            So what would happen if you never did that work? Your argument essentially is that whatever you produced is so unique and worthy then it would be a loss to the world if they never got a chance to experience it. Maybe that’s true. But what if it the fact that you choose not to do that work without compensation doesn’t really matter to anyone but you? You didn’t paid, You did’t do it. It doesn’t exist. End of story. It’s not like there are millions of other pieces of music out there.

            I’m not trivializing what you do, or equating my very limited composition ability to an expertly crafted song that is created by virtue of many years of experience. Maybe it’s because the artistic medium I work it takes so much time and effort to create that I could never hope to make a living at it, that I am so little moved by monetary arguments. At the end of the day an artist creates because they are driven to do so. It’s probably worse for commercial musicians because somebody – the labels – do make a living off their work. I guess its a plus that nobody takes monetary advantage of what I produce.

            We live in a capitalist society that is organized around competition where the winner take most of the spoils. The record labels offer pretty terrible revenue sharing to their artists, which is an issue apart from streaming. To me personally, the $9.99 streaming standard price too cheap. Before streaming I spent maybe $60 a year on music, but for unlimited streams I’ve been paying twice that. I’m actually willing to pay more, but I’ don’t set the prices. Apple’s 6 user for $15 is way low. The services apparently don’t agree with me and are charging what they think the market will bare. I don’t think anything is going to change by musicians complain to listeners, many of whom are young people with no money who are happy to rip the songs off the internet. for free. Maybe at some point the market will evolve enough that musicians can cut the middle men out and capture all of the streaming revenue for themselves.

  63. Baron Von Spinster

    Unbelievable sense of entitlement. And “greedy artists”? C’mon. How about greedy consumers? GTFOH.

  64. Irony Abounds

    The world didn’t know Adele before Rolling in the Deep? I’m sorry, was 19 with the very prominent single Chasing Pavements released on Jupiter or something? This demand for something essentially free (as if $9.99 a month should entitle someone to all the music ever produced) is so juvenile. I understand the benefits of streaming for lesser known acts who may not get their music heard otherwise, but that just isn’t the case with upper tier acts.

  65. squaremind

    Thanks Ari.
    Full supportive of your view!

    Will never buy a CD again. Those days are over.
    If you are not on Spotify – you don’t exist for me – do not care about your music – you are probably commercial shit and have made lots of cash!

    • venus

      @squaremind, @Ari and all you “never buy a cd again-ers” :
      Where do y’all go for your liner notes, now? i don’t pay for Spotify cos i don’t find any of the information i’m interested in (once i’ve decided to give more listens and attention to a record). Not everyone has unlimited mobile data to stream with, either… and clear cell reception is NOT ubiquitous.

      BTW if you got into Adele when 21 was already at Target, you weren’t really ahead of the mainstream. Did i miss your “why i don’t listen to the radio anymore” op-ed too?

  66. Me2

    I could care less about recreational pastime music, at least the 99.9 percent of vanity drivel that’s out there now. Give me greatness. Not easy. Not common. Not cheap to make.

  67. Antinet

    The author is a defender of theft who never need worry about his art not being fairly compensated….

  68. Mary


    You used Adele’s name and fame to get people to read/listen to your whiny ass — shake. my. head.

    Think twice before you roll the dice.


  69. superduper

    Adele is truly challenging conventional wisdom of ‘if you don’t put it on streaming services nobody will care.’ The amount of albums sold is absolutely amazing and I think it goes to show you that you don’t need streaming to be successful, and in fact you would be even more successful without it than with it. “25” going platinum so fast means that people WILL buy music, despite what so many people (especially techies) say. Whether or not you care for Adele is irrelevant; if you don’t like it don’t buy it, it doesn’t matter to me.
    Just realize one thing: Adele is NOT being greedy for doing this. She is only maximizing her potential for success. One other thing: I think that being successful in the music industry by actually selling music is not necessarily a luxury that only the rich artists can do, as smaller artists cannot ‘afford’ to risk not putting their music on streaming services. I think that if other artists did what Adele and Taylor Swift (at least at first) did, they will find that they are a lot more successful without streaming services than they would be with them.

  70. Damian

    Wow everyone here is blind. He is right, this is pure greed. Making music is not about making money, it is about making feelings, emotions. It’s about the art not the cash.

    • Roshambo72

      Dude, at his heart, Ari doesn’t even believe that. He’s as opportunistic as they come – you think he’s writing all of these articles because his emotions dictate it? He’s writing these articles for money, and the more clicks they get, the more attention he gets.

      I’m sorry, anyone who says music is just about emotion is either a) not a musician, b) a very unsuccessful musician, or c) a hypocrite. If you’re trying to really make a living as a musician, you want your music to mean something, but you also want to eat. Sooner or later, it’s going to be about sustaining a living. If you can do that while also being artistically fulfilled, you’ve struck gold. Not monetary gold, soul-assuring gold. I don’t know of any famous artist out there who doesn’t pay even a little attention to financial gain. Least of all, Ari Seth Herstand.

  71. Anonymous

    You’re literally an idiot. God forbid you can’t listen to something on Spotify. One of the most immature articles I’ve ever read.

  72. Robert Poss

    Greed? I think that Adele is the exception that proves the rule vis-a-vis streaming. She will sell millions with or without streaming. But consider the indie artist who sells CDs at shops, via mail order and on tour. The marketing and promotion potential of streaming does not balance the loss of a small but absolutely necessary revenue from sales of actual product. One can market and promote via Youtube, for instance, and put a link for sales. Streaming pays the independent artist nothing for all practical purposes, and physical product offers higher resolution listening and full notes, graphics, credits. Yes, Apple makes itunes worse with each release, but is it really so arduous to load a CD into a CD drive ( they are very inexpensive to buy) and load the material onto an iphone? Or maybe the author should consider owning a turntable and a CD player. This description is hyperbolic and disingenuous: “The process of importing a CD into a computer (which no longer has a CD drive) and then making sure the track listing is correct, then dragging the files to my “iPhone” playlist to then transferring to my iPhone while it goes through the 17 steps of Synching, so I can just listen to the damn thing does not happen anymore.” I mean, really. Greed is at the other end – the streaming services who pay almost nothing to the creators of artistic product.

  73. Adam

    As many people pointed out above, including Paul in his comment, the ultimate loser in the situation is Spotify. So who cares? They can afford to be the loser here. Beyond which the second reality here is that releasing on Spotify early would yield less income than windowing would. It’s pretty “black and white” actually. None of Ari’s opinions on the matter can outweigh that in and of itself, anyway.

  74. Adam

    Yes, streaming is undeniably the future of music. Even Adele’s own manager has said that. Yes, you can discover other artists on streaming platforms like Spotify. But I can also do that on other sites such as YouTube? So I’m really not sure why that’s supposed to be beneficial to putting your music on streaming services?

    If you don’t want to buy a physical CD, don’t. But who are you to dictate how someone should make their work available? Or to try and imply that someone’s greedy just because you don’t get to listen to their album on your listening platform of choice? And as for: ‘It just means that I put my love of convenience above my love of Adele.’ – No, it just means you’re upset because YOU don’t get to listen to an album the way YOU want to listen to it.

    As for Adele being greedy – she is projected to sell up to 3m copies of her album in the US this week; her sales wouldn’t have been affected whether streaming was included or not. Her single was put up on Spotify, and smashed the all-time streams record, as well as the all-time digital record. You say ‘I don’t buy CDs any more’. So, just because YOU don’t buy CDs anymore, every artist should take this into account? Just because that’s how YOU listen to music these days?

    It really annoys me when people use articles like this as an excuse to try and force their own opinions on others, and say what you think people should or need to do, as opposed to what the artist in question WANTS to do.

    What a selfish, ‘me me me’ article.

  75. Bob

    mmmm… How much spotify has paid for that adv ? I gess a 3 month free subscription 😉

  76. LF

    If you have a decent public library system nearby, check to see if they have a subscription to Freegal. It’s a service that lets you download a certain number of tracks each week (in my system it’s 5 a week) for free, to keep. 25 is in Freegal. It’s clunky, but in a week or two you can have the whole album. Best of luck.

  77. David

    Ok, so you don’t want plastic discs but you want vinyl? cat logic? I mean, both are made for collectors in 2015. If you are not a fan you won’t buy vinyl, cd or mp3 PERIOD. you might go to stream or youtube or to listen to the radio and that’s all. You are not going to affect Adele or Swift, but, you are affecting those who want a record deal and record label won’t support them because is too risky and they will loose money that they are not earning with sales.

  78. Alex K

    I’m not sure what to even say about someone who bases his hipster cred on buying vinyl at Barnes and Noble. The whole article has a Spinal Tap quality

  79. Boots

    You do realize that CDs are still the highest fidelity format and that the super-compressed streaming can suck the life out of some recordings. Complaining about how tedious it is to import a cd to your iTunes library and copy it to your phone? Please, get over yourself

  80. Jacinta

    I never understood why musicians have to give their work for free.. really … Would you go to a gallery pick up a painting and say to the owner.. Hey I’m gonna take these but don’t worry cause I gonna say who painted and I’ll promote it a lot… or maybe we could go to starbucks drink a cofee and promote it to everyone. why pay for it ? and to claim that Adele is greedy is away too funny … she refused countless contract deals just to focus on her life and her music, but whatever!

  81. Max Persian

    I can understand why people are passionate about Spotfly et al, as I was in college when Metallica decided to pursue their whine-fest about Napster and even name their own fans in a lawsuit (my response was to donate my Metallica CDs and records to Goodwill, taking almost fifteen years before I purchased their CDs, used, to once again grace my collection). Now, most everything is on YouTube in one form or another, and it has allowed me to hear an artist and decide to… buy their CD.

    Yep, I still buy CDs for two reasons: one is that if my computer ever crashes and all on it is lost, I still have a hard copy of the music. Some of the stuff I own is hard to find and/or out of print altogether, and this is still a way to own it without fear of losing it. Yes, CDs are comparatively bulky (especially when there are hundreds of them on a shelf in a closet) and the sound quality is ultimately less than a clean vinyl record (everything above 20 kHz or so is cut out, for example, as it lies above the threshold of most people’s hearing), but the things are still easily portable, widely available, and fairly cheap to replace if damaged.

    My other reason is my love of the packaging and artwork that usually accompanies the music. Records are obviously the best way to experience the cover art and often the sleeve art as they are larger (great for Iron Maiden’s amazing Derek Riggs-painted covers such as Somewhere In Time and Powerslave, among others), but CDs also contain some beautiful and clever artwork, often going far beyond what is expected (see Spinal Tap’s cardboard sleeve for the album Back From The Dead, which unfolds into a miniature stage complete with band and fans for an extreme example). As an artist, art historian and graphic designer myself, I just can’t fathom getting any new music without the artwork that accompanies it.

    Finally, for anyone who wants to inform me about how vinyl still sounds better, I concede that this is very true. But my hearing has never been particularly good and has diminished over time to the point that I no longer hear the subtle differences between analog and digital recordings. Records are also higher maintenance and considerably more expensive than CDs, plus they are pretty much non-portable, which means the rental car must have a place for my iPod or a CD player for music travel.

    The saying that the future can’t be rolled back once it arrives it very true. I listen to an iPod and put the mp3 files onto a stick for use in my car. But sometimes the past can still be relevant as a part of the future. Records were around for decades prior to cassettes and CDs, and though they were almost phased out, their enduring popularity has brought them back. My CDs serve as an archive now, but they preserve the artwork in its published entirety that streaming media can not. The best thing, in the end, is that we can still choose how we purchase and listen to our music, and that is a choice worthy of celebration.

  82. Name2

    The process of importing a CD into a computer (which no longer has a CD drive)


  83. Joe

    “There are many more ways to support music creators that makes sense to fans and artists in 2015 than simply record sales.”

    Do you seriously believe artists put all that effort into writing, recording, and performing music to sell T-shirts? Or that getting paid $0.002/stream “makes more sense” to them?

  84. Hello, it's me.

    Two things. Is Adele for dudes? And what do you recommend for noobs that want to get into vinyl? Three things. Does vinyl really sound better than digital? Does streaming sound better than iTunes? Ok four things.

    • Name2

      Two things. Is Adele for dudes?

      Yes. Women can’t find music, so all those millions of Adele (and Taylor Swift) CDs are getting snapped up by cap-wearing dude-bros with crafty penises.

  85. Dbssound

    Wow, they didn’t give it to me for free, so now I’m not going to support them. I think I’ll try this model with restaurants from now on. What they don’t give as many meals as I want for free until I decide I like it enough to buy a meal, than I don’t support them any more…they are clearly greedy.

  86. Chris Brooks

    TL:DR snot nosed loser despises artist’s right to distribute music they way artist chooses. Snot nosed writer’s convenience comes first, Adele. Many words ensue.

  87. The new ANTI

    Adele, Determinism and the New Anti

    “The problem that tech-determinists have is that they weren’t included.”

    There has been much ado about Adele. Her album is a grand-slam success, despite it’s absence on the relatively new “streaming” music services. Many points can and have be made in the week since it’s release, but perhaps some historical context is a good place to start.

    This all goes back to the time when “mp3” and “search engine” were becoming household words. People were understandably wide eyed for these new possibilities. Dotcom mania was in full up-tick.

    More than a few closing campus pubs would have overheard freshman theories that digital file copying would create an “infinite supply”. Copyright would become meaningless. Bowie bonds would lose all value and he would only be paid for concerts. It was simply the inevitable result of the technologies. It was exciting, it was freedom.

    We imagined cellular phones that could download songs from huge databases. All the world’s music at you fingertips! Sound familiar?

    I didn’t know it then, but this was a luckily short-lived fling with “tech-determinism”.

    This was in the 90s, before Google. We were enthusiasts at best, and got back to our daily lives, some of which involved the creation of music.

    Enter Napster vs Lars Ulrich, the widely public clash of forces that have been at war ever since, mostly behind the scenes, by some of the very same people. Lars may have had the law on his side, but Napster won public opinion.

    Lars was possibly the first artist of the internet age to be vilified for standing up for himself. (Well, that and the fact that he singled out fans, which probably was not the smartest way to go about it.)

    Eventually Napster was obliterated except in name, Wall Street experienced a serious “correction” on everything dotcom, and Metallica went on to even more success.

    We rushed headlong into 2.0, customizing our profiles in the seemingly friendly environment of MyThis, YouThat and iThings. But where was it all leading?

    It would seem that music was not the only thing to be “liberated”.
    New complaints from authors, photographers and journalists didn’t elicit much sympathy in general. Realistically, why should most people have cared? It’s not their job.

    But the rest of us would get a few occasional glimpses behind the digital curtain, and the Wizard was not all that friendly.

    Facebook users were shocked to experience privacy breaches. Many became distressed at the idea of Instagram owning their photos. Humorously, some even wanted to “boycott” YouTube when the site changed page layouts. And I’m sure some remember the shit-storm rants about Google Plus.

    And the somewhat more concrete episodes, that lost job because of a photo. Political candidates dropping out because of that post from three years ago. Police sifting through your profile because it turns out that yes you were the one that lit that car on fire after your team lost.

    Many of us don’t like the idea of our personal lives being traded as a commodity. But the reality is that we are the ones gladly clicking on Terms of Service and uploading our lives. We enjoy the benefits, we want to participate, but this isn’t Kansas anymore, there are real consequences. Right to be forgotten? Yeah right.

    So we have this public conversation and speculation about how privacy is becoming irrelevant. Sound familiar? The very same tech determinism that liberated music and photos, also applies to YOUR DATA. And quite possibly, eventually YOUR JOB.

    Enter “Disruption”, with a capital D. We’ve been a lot of that mantra.

    I have a question:
    Since when was “disruption” always considered a positive? Or even necessary for change?

    There seems to be an attractiveness to the idea of disruption. Who doesn’t like being ahead of the times, bringing in the new, forging a new path?

    Or is there just a a bit more going on here?

    This isn’t by mistake. It’s an ideological, political movement. The plan is to harness, digitize and aggregate your efforts, whether they be labor or intellectual property. Profit drives on propaganda highways with billboards that say “freedom”. Crumbs are left for the masses. You’ll recognize it by an outrageous contempt for tax, regulation of any sort, social responsibility or collective bargaining power of those providing the grist.
    It’s being lobbied at all levels of government, in schools and in the press. It’s massive and unprecedented in influence. The good news is that people are starting to notice.

    The honeymoon is over. There’s nothing hip or “anti” about the popular online world, or the cult of disruption. There never really was. I optimistically see a time when people will stand up for themselves and just say no.

    Where we will not adjust our behavior to conform to some software platform and escrow our lives onto some company’s server.

    Where we’ll think before participating in a scheme where every thought, every conversation, every transaction, every movement will be securely stored somewhere on a file we’ll never be allowed to see.

    To bring the conversation back to music, I wanted to give a thought to Adele’s mega successful 25 album.

    The problem that tech-determinists have is that they weren’t included.

    Only the single is available to “streaming services” right now. Although Adele has said nothing about it, the press is still bent, seemingly in advance to portray this as greed, “clinging” to old models, or a “finger” to fans..

    Anything other than the smart business move that it actually was.

    It’s the most ANTI thing that’s happened in a while.
    Congrats Adele.

    • Anonymous

      This is right on. Spotify isn’t the whole problem, just a symptom of something bigger.

  88. Velo

    And on top of that here in UK the law has changed again and it’s illegal to rip a cd so I can’t legally copy cd to ipod etc.
    Back to the 90’s and discman era? No thank you I’ll just pass couple of records, I won’t die and I’ll stick to streaming and buying digitals.

  89. Greg

    Ari exemplifies the lousy, degenerative business acumen present in so many musicians! Of course his piece is naive and rife with omission.

  90. Eric

    Sorry support your artists, BUY their music or else there will be a void of artists who are willing to spend months or years of their lives creating music. I won’t go to work for free, you don’t go into a restaurant for free, streaming is the worst thing to happen to music.

  91. Jason DUnning

    I’m not buying it because her music is just pop music, shitty bland pop music.

    Rolling in the deep was nothing special, her voice is nothing special, and her music is pop music, only slightly better than Britney Spears.

  92. Sinbad The Sailor

    iTunes is still alive and well… If you make the right sort of music then there’s still money to be made… For indie recording artists (who don’t perform live) physical product is a pain in the b because you have to deal with manufacturing, printing, warehousing, distribution, collection of revenue, returned stock and the list goes on.. Digital pay downloads is a much better model .. streaming is very popular but only a very few seem to make anything worthwhile from it.. For me, iTunes is still number 1.

  93. will

    Your an idiot. If your an independent musician you should respect her decision. I am sure she is sorry that she had inconvienced you if how you purchase music. I am an independent mom and pops vinyl and CD store owner. Even thou you claim you purchase vinyl. Your logic outside of your own convience to the music industry embarrasses me. Do us all a favor and stop writing articles that hurts the music industry instead of helping it. I applaud Adele and her decision.

  94. Jeremy Travis

    I can still import CDs on my computer because most DVD drives will read CD’s
    I don’t know what Ari Herstand implies in this article.
    I will certainly buy the CD but would prefer to buy an SACD for the quality of sound.

    Yes I love Adele and her songs just stir my soul

  95. Edu Camargo

    Adele’s (or XL Recording’s) freedom of choice is equivalent to yours. Hope you’ve taken this into consideration while writing this article, but if otherwise, shame on you. You know that the world won’t stop spinning just because you decided that Adele’s 25 ain’t worth your money. Streaming defenitly is not a single world order. Thank God the world’s like this. I’m sure that for certain artists you love you won’t have issues about being able to stream, or get on TPB, or whatever. You’d buy their vinyls in a heartbeat and probably even pay some extra for a box set of deluxes, super deluxes and similar stuff.

    I myself would be offended if I came across your music on iTunes for example, loved it, and couldn’t pay for it.

    Live and let live.

  96. Charles Bruce Cook

    Such a twisted argument that is completely destroyed by the fact that ‘hello’ and other songs ARE on the Radio, Youtube and Vevo Officially. This still allows you to listen to the song, But not necessarily OWN it, Still allows artists to see her creation, get inspired and enjoy music. Of course people are going to steal it offline anyways, but that’s no reason to just let the music industry bleed, which has continuously been going downhill in sales and net worth, the past 15 or more years, (dropped 50% since)… Without the industry, without artists such as Adele, there wouldn’t be much of an industry left…Let me ask you something Ari… If the music industry crumbles… Where does that place artists such as yourself???

  97. Amanda

    Good article. Will save it on my phone for when I have insomnia. Made me fall asleep in 2 paragraphs

  98. Anonymous

    This article is so incredibly stupid. Thank you for wasting 5 minutes of my time

  99. Alice

    As the mother of a songwriter who may someday want to make a living at music, I’m appalled at the perspective Ari Herstand takes.

    This publication’s “About Us” page states that its audience is “highly-targeted decision-makers from every segment of the business, spanning major labels to artists to garage start-ups.” But as this article on Adele makes clear, this publication is in fact the voice of Silicon Valley and the digerati.

    We are in the midst of an ideological war. Silicon Valley has a sophisticated PR machine pumping out the mantra that “music wants to be free” and appealing to musicians’ passion for their art, their (often youthful) idealism, and their sense of guilt about caring about money. This ideology is an extension of the entrenched notion in digital circles that “information wants to be free.” It’s a self-serving ideology that snubs copyright law, which is designed to protect the creators of works, and that benefits one minority–those who own the computer servers of streaming platforms (YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, etc.) and their algorithms.

    Getting musicians to donate, or turn over for pennies, their works to those who own the servers, so the latter can reap the majority of profits, is where the real greed lies. Yet Herstand proclaims it is the artist who is greedy. This is propaganda for the digerati, and it is wholly anti-artist.

    Digital Music News claims to be the “authority” on news and information for the music industry, but you can’t make that claim unless you tell both sides of the story. This is one sided, one- percent talk. Touring and t-shirts are not a good way for musicians to make a living, especially as they get older, have children or get sick (all of which humans are apt to do). Technology should serve people, not the other way around, and we need to make sure musicians can thrive, despite the advent of digital streaming. We need to figure out how to restore value to music rather than have the music act as a marketing chip.

    I’m going to look for a publication that talks realistically about how artists can make money. The music “executives” this publication says it represents might do well to look for such an alternative too, as they rely on good songwriters and performers to make their living. If we follow Herstand’s advice, they may well find there are fewer and fewer good musicians left, and the total pie of profits will shrink. I think we could make the argument that this is already happening.

    For any musician out there who believes musicians should make a good living, I would suggest finding a better publication, one that represents the welfare of artists. Any suggestions for an alternative?

  100. Musicians Advocate

    I don’t understand Artist who want to literally let someone make money off of their music! Why would anyone put a new release of their album on a streaming service?? It’s de valuing music and making the art form seem “cheap”. We are the only industry who condones such idiocy and I believe it’s do to the fact that todays musicians (if you can even call them that) are too desperate to get noticed, and in return for getting noticed they will bend over and take it up the shoot for a little exposure. We can’t continue to allow music to be brought to such low levels of appreciation.

    Compare us with our neighbors in the Film Industry. Do you EVER find hit movies available on Netflix day 1?? Could you imagine Ted 2, Terminator Genesis and movies of that nature being readily available and nobody having to go buy it digitally or physically? Hell no! Movies would become cheap and nobody would care to buy the actual product cause they could just easily stream it on day 1. This is what’s happened to our music and we are responsible for it happening.

    I always read indie artist say stupid shit like, “Music is not what you make money off of it’s your merchandise and physical items or some dumb shit like that”. Really? We make music for a living but yet we are not supposed to make money selling our music? Thats like a Painter making a beautiful portrait and instead of selling the portrait, he tries selling the fucking stand it comes on!! It makes no sense and we really need to get rid of this way of thinking!! I’m proud of Adele and/or any artist who chooses to go back to the basics. I don’t make an album for the world to stream for $9.99 a month. I make an album so you can get to know me through my art form and my music personally.


  101. John

    Buy the CD or Vinyl on Amazon and get the digital copy as part of AutoRip. Presto: all of your inconvenience issues associated with getting the music on your iPhone have been solved! And you’re still supporting the artist.

  102. Rik

    FYI Target sells all the new Vinyl Albums as well for about $6 Less… And new Turntables with a cool older look 😉

  103. Sam

    I do not understand the anger over this article. A lot of fans legally pay $10-12 a month to listen/stream music on our phones, we do not own the music and if at any time we decline to pay we basically lose the music unless we have paid an additional charge for a memory card. This way of listening to music is not much different from old school taping off the radio or record clubs. These new young artists are not in a “new battle” against piracy just a new age of perceived piracy. Sadly artists such as the drifters, Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson most likely didn’t have the pleasure of getting to see their “art” out as freely as these new artist have been afforded. Being thankful that the fans want your music should be a priority not the checks that aren’t being cashed.

  104. Jane

    As I’ve said on other posts, the songwriter, major label or not, makes zilch from a stream.
    There is no impulse to buy. After you’ve heard it a few times, you’re over it.

    Because of this situation, writers are now not making material available until there is a resolution of the issue. Many give up altogether and exit the industry.

    The flow-on effect of no income from writing means that studios are closing, music equipment sellers are closing, home studio equipment sellers are having a tough time, etc. & this is just from a writer’s viewpoint.

    These days writers have a home studio set-up like me, but like to mix or master at a proper studio, but with no income to do this something’s gotta give, so now I don’t.

    A stream is not a sale. So, what you’ll be left with is a product industry, not a music one.

    • superduper

      You are completely right about the negative impact that streaming has on the music industry and how a stream is not a sale. This is a major issue that I have also been predicting I completely disagree with you though about the fact that it is becoming a “product industry” not a “music industry,” because there is no product to sell.

  105. Harris

    “But had it been on Spotify, had I listened and fallen in love, I may have gone to Amoeba Music and bought the vinyl. I may have purchased tickets to her show and bought some merch. But now, I’m done with Adele. I don’t care for greedy artists.”

    I’m sure Adele is crying over the loss of your patronage as she racks in multi-million album sales in the US alone.

  106. sszorin

    Nonsense. How can one ditch CDs when most of the music is not available on Spotify ? Over half of what I have on CDs is not available on Spotify, or on other music providers. Who cares about the modern flavor of the year or the month when fabulous music is ignored ? And further, the sound quality of Spotify is nothing to sing about – ‘Tidal’ sounds better to my ears, and ‘Deezer’ too.

  107. doby

    The vinyl was mastered separately from the digital/CD, Ryan Smith @ Sterling did the vinyl. That’s a damned good reason to pick up the vinyl, to avoid the over-zealous heavy-handed dynamic range compression of today’s digital music and Adele’s 25 is no exception, it was slaughtered in mastering similar to most RHCP or NIN releases. It’s no Death Magnetic, but so much dynamic compression on a release like this one is pathetic.

    It’s rare a major label release gets a separate mastering, that alone is worth me picking it up. I only know two songs, saw them on SNL, I’ve watched them a couple times thanks to owning a PVR. No Spotify, no awful iTunes, etc.

  108. Mark

    The author clearly stated that he pays for Spotify service who then pay the artist. This is not trying to listen to music for free. Whether Adele’s new album is a success or not does not change the fact that someone’s greed stops it from being available via streaming services. On final note, the songs on 25 are good but the sound quality is a crap as on 21. And this to me is the biggest shame.

  109. Brian

    I’m calling total BS. If you were so into Adele’s previous work as you claim to be, I bet we will find a vinyl copy of “25” in your 100+ vinyl collection. Good music is good music, and true music fans will always pay for it to be able to listen to it in their preferred method of highest (lossless) quality.

    And I’ll be you are not willing to share with us how much your royalty check was for those extra 30,000 plays you claim to have received on Spotify. Why?? Because it would be embarrassing to you. I have famous songwriter friends who receive hundreds of thousands of plays of their works each month on spotify and other streaming services, and they now have to have full time “normal” jobs just to pay their bills. I’m talking less than $100.00/month they are receiving. For HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PLAYS.

    And a final note on the “greed” argument. Give me a break! When bed-wetters try to make this argument, it only makes them look like jealous cry babies. Adele and other smart artists are killing it! And good for them – they have found a way to make a ton of money doing what they love. What’s wrong with that? It just shows that they are smarter than you, are willing to work harder than you and are better at what they do than you are. Up your game and you too could be wiping your ass with money….which is clearly more important to you than supporting good music and musicians.

  110. Liam

    “I can’t say I’ve called many things, but, hell, I called this. Mind you, this was long before the world knew Adele”
    Pretty sure the world knew about her from her first album, which even my mother had when it came out. Bare in mind she’s not clued up on music whatsoever. But yeah, well done for discovering Adele. Hipster.

  111. Michael

    I noticed you say at the end of your rant…”I may have and I may have” May have is not BUYING the art it’s speculating on buying it. Again most young users are NOT going to buy your recording they will steal it, download it and share ti with their peers. My point is if you go to work and have to spend money on transportation to get there,money for lunch everyday,money for childcare,money for parking,work all day then go home and HOPE your boss liked what you did and paid you or better yet took your resulting work,used it for his own behalf,shared your info or output (work) with others then decided not to give you a check at the end of the week….you’d freak the hell out and be really pissed….wouldn’t you? Well Artist pay for their recording time from pro’s or have to purchase the equipment and learn how to use it,spend hours creating and recording (not to mention the years they might have spent just perfecting their talent skills) money to mix and master,money for additional musicians to get the resulting perfect performances etc…..only to never get a re-coupment for all that investment of time and money. Does that sound right to you? Hmmmm….

  112. Matteo

    Have you heard of Amazon AutoRip? You can buy Adele’s CD for less than $12 and get free MP3 download of it as well. Best of both worlds! Before getting angry, just google it. 😉

  113. Robert

    Ari, I see your pattern. Every once in awhile you knowingly write a total BS article with a sensational headline just to get clicks on you ads. What an asshole. You are the greedy one.


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