01 Dec Adele & The New Sign O’ The Times
Prince was clearly ahead of his time.
With official sales now in for the week, it is now official: Adele is the new Queen of Pop.
(have a seat, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Miley et al)
With over 3 million copies of her new CD 25 sold in the United States alone, the British pop sensation has not only shattered records that no one could have foreseen, but she has also caused another conundrum for major music companies as they scramble to adopt a new business model for their artists.
Let’s be clear here. Adele is not the first major artist to snatch all of her music off of streaming sites. Prince battled the majors for years and eventually won, removing his music from all sites that sought to capitalize off the then new way of attaining music. Many in the industry had no idea how the future would pan out, but it now appears Prince was on to something. Nearly a generation later, Adele has dared to do it in a climate where most people acquire their music digitally.
Searching for the New Blueprint
Beyonce caused major buzz when she released an all-digital album a few years ago. At the time, it was heralded as a possible new model to doing business, but few have had the type of impact as her release. More recently, pop singer Taylor Swift caused major buzz when she pulled her music off of Spotify and Apple, and several other artists soon followed suit. But the impact has been felt in the biggest way possible with Adele’s release and now many in the industry are scratching their heads in an attempt to formulate a new blueprint for selling music both in digital sales and physical sales.
How times have changed.
’25’ is also available on vinyl, where it is also racking up sales…
Fifteen to twenty years ago, buying music meant having a relationship with your local music store. It meant reading liner notes of your favorite musical artists, picking out your favorite cover art, and getting an actual story from each album as each track attempted to take listeners on a journey. Slowly but surely, that has gone away as most artists release only songs that will sell and cutting out music that could be identified as ‘filler’. With most companies refusing to release music that won’t immediately become a hit on Billboard, the consummate artist label has eluded many of today’s biggest stars, with many of their biggest songs having shorter ‘legs’ than previous generations. For those that don’t believe, try to remember any of Katy Perry’s hit singles.
Adele: the new face of pop dominance
The Future of Popular Music
Major musical acts, as well as their management, have taken in all of Adele’s Guiness-esque numbers, crunched them, and are right now re-structuring and re-thinking the way they will handle affairs in the future. Sony, Universal, EMI, and Warner Music will be expected to do the same – or something similar – for the artists on their rosters that already have a fanbase large enough to impact the market with significant numbers. In order to move units near Adele’s numbers, only mainstream artists can incorporate a similar business model to success. This approach is not one that the independent artist can ever hope to pull off as their labels do not have the financial means to pull off such a maneuver. The question of the moment now is: which major artists are willing to lay it all on the line and go toe to toe with the biggest star currently on the music scene?
RELATED IN ENTERTAINMENT…
Latest posts by Triston (see all)
- Op/Ed: White Fragility & The Act Of Betrayal - October 17, 2016
- Op/Ed: Have You Had ‘The Talk’ Yet? - October 6, 2016
- The Renaissance of the Mixtape: from the Old School to the New Digital Era - September 6, 2016