Adele’s Upcoming Album ‘Still Questionable’ for Spotify, Sources Say

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Adele hasn’t released an album in four years, though ‘rumor has it’ a new release will be arriving in November.  Over the weekend, the superstar teased the project during a commercial break of the ‘X Factor’ in the UK.  In a short spot, a voice sounding very much like Adele connected with fans, seemingly from beyond:

it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet to go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing

Sounds exciting, though rumors are also focusing on whether Adele will remain a Spotify holdout.  Back in 2011, Adele withheld her smash album, 21, for more than 18 months as Spotify refused to restrict the release to premium, paying customers.

“It’s still questionable.”

This time around, a similar issue could be arising, according to sources speaking with Digital Music News.  “[Adele] wants some assurance that the release will be gated,” one source relayed, referring to a restriction on paying-only members.  “It’s still questionable.”

Currently, Spotify has more than 20 million paying subscribers, with an additional 50 million non-paying, ‘ad-supported’.

Meanwhile, Spotify has been aggressively resistant to any gated features, arguing that ad-supported ‘freemium’ access is the only serious way to drive paying subscribers in bulk.  That is the opposite approach from Apple Music, which has a limited, three-month trial window before requiring monthly payment.  That could open to door for an Apple Music exclusive, similar to Taylor Swift, though sources were unable to offer any information on possible negotiations (please chime in if you know anything).

The upcoming album reportedly involves collaboration with Danger Mouse, Damon Albarn, Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, and Tobias Jesso, Jr., among others.

Image by @HayeurJF, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

20 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    It’ll be on youtube, and then off, and then on, and then off, and then on more or less permanently.

  2. Mateja

    It’s OK. I would prefer for Spotify to stay a safe heaven from Adele and Taylor Swift.

  3. Mark

    “…Spotify has been aggressively resistant to any gated features, arguing that ad-supported ‘freemium’ access is the only serious way to drive paying subscribers in bulk.”

    Yes, clearly the only way to get people to pay is to give them everything they want, upfront, and for free.

  4. GGG

    It’s Adele. She’s already proven she still sells a shitload of records. Granted, that was years ago now, there’s probably no reason to bet against herself this time around. She’s the level of artist that would absolutely benefit from staying off Spotify for a bit.

  5. Anonymous

    Spotify doesn’t care about revenue. They just want a big userbase number so they can finish off their IPO pump-and-dump scheme, bail, and then fly away to some island.

  6. FarePlay

    The music business is fragmenting and will continue to do so before its’s eventual collapse. Artists like Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and Adelle have a different fan base who understand the value in purchasing music and those artists will continue to distance themselves from streaming services like Spotify.

    Had Apple music done a better job of integrating streaming discovery with paid download sales the Adelle release would have been an important opportunity for them to position themselves as the go to service for marquis artists and ultimately as with piracy services, it would have been their listener /subscriber draw. Apple Music could have had exclusive tracks with the option to download the entire album from iTunes.

    What people fail to realize or in the case of streaming services don’t care, physical product creates an entirely different, more substantial relationship between the fan and the artist as do printed books as opposed to e-books.

    • Mateja

      I still buy a CD from time to time, but I never even open the packaging. I listen to music either on my PC or on my iPod. I have a nice new CD player I bought a few years ago, but it’s collecting dust along with the CDs. If the physical product is what creates a more substantial relationship between the fan and the artist, then I’m a lost cause.

      • FarePlay

        Two questions, if you don’t mind, Mateja

        Approximately how old are you. And what kind of music do you listen to.

        • Mateja

          I will turn 28 later this month. Mainstream pop is my favorite genre, I guess. I also listen to some country, rock, RnB, electronic.

          • FarePlay

            Mateja, thank-you for your response. You’re a class act.

      • Danwriter

        Question: If you don’t open the package, why buy the physical product at all? A gesture for the artist, perhaps? (And I’m asking out of curiosity, not snark.)

    • GGG

      I think you’re projecting your personal/your generation/even my generations’ views onto things in that last part. Younger gens don’t build those connections via physical product anymore. At a point, some now have probably literally never bought physical product. People build connections now by following acts on IG, FB, Twitter, etc, plus live shows, and it’s been like that for years. It’s the illusion that the artist might actually see what you write and, god willing, respond to you. Until 5-10 years ago, artists existed on this apparent level of life above everyone else. Now they’re posting the same stupid memes and taking selfies, etc like everyone else. Showing off their wealth still puts them above, but you can comment directly on Beyonce’s “personal” accounts, so they seem infinitely more approachable/human.

      I don’t disagree with your second part, though.

      • FarePlay

        Hi GGG. Yes, there is a generational difference and it is not intended as a put down for the twenty-something’s as it shouldn’t be for those over fifty. My big objection is the desire of people who know only digital to limit our world. At this point I’m fairly certain that I will continue to purchase physical product till they play Mountain Jam at my funeral.

        Streaming or whatever the next music distribution model is can exist and even succeed without eliminating other options for enjoying music. That’s really the only point I’m making here. I still drive a car with a manual transmission, I love driving and feel more connected to the experience with a stick.

        I want to live in a world that offers choice, not one where my choices are made by someone else.

        • GGG

          I didn’t take it as a put down, nor did I mean mine to be either. It was most of just a statement on the unfortunate, to us, state of things. I agree with the rest, and fortunately, enough people do that I think vinyl, maybe even CDs will stick around for a while. It’s still a solid ROI (if you can afford the initial cost).

      • FarePlay

        Garth Brooks. You know 130 million records sold, currently on national world tour approaching 100M in ticket sales, so far. Took off ten years to raise a family at the height of his career. Refuses to stream music, tried to have his music removed from YouTube. Sells concert tix for $57 tops, over books venues to combat ticket scalping, stood country music performing on it’s head.

        That Garth Brooks.

        • Danwriter

          …crusaded to ban resale of used CDs. Just for the sake of a balanced picture.

          • FarePlay

            No that is incorrect. He opposed the reselling of digital musical files.

  7. Manny Sheehan

    Spotify needs hits and hits don’t need Spotify. Suck it up.