Adele’s ’25’ on Track to Break Sales Records

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adele may set new album sales record with ’25’: Billboard.

After an opening weekend that included Adele’s performing on “Saturday Night Live” and in a BBC special, the album is set to make a historic arrival on the charts. The When We Were Young hit-maker’s latest album went on sale on Friday and according to Billboard‚ sold more than 900‚000 copies alone through the iTunes Store on its first day of release. “I am so overwhelmed and grateful to be able to even put another record out‚ and put it out how I want‚” she said‚ adding‚ “I hope you enjoy the record as much as I enjoyed making it for you”.The British songbird — one of two chart-topping singers this year who pointedly snubbed streaming platforms by not releasing her new project on Spotify or Apple Music — is poised to set a new one week Nielsen era album sales record, Billboard reports.The album, 25, which shot to No 1 in the iTunes chart in 106 out of 119 countries, sold 300,000 copies in the UK alone when it was released on Friday, one of the biggest first-day totals of all time.

Adele’s smash hit Hello‚ from her latest offering‚ sits at number 1 on the South African iTunes charts and its video has been viewed over 450 million times on YouTube. According to the gatekeeper of music industry statistics, Adele’s ’25’ album is on track to sell at least 2.5 million in its first week, after barely one day of being in full release. That would be the highest weekly sales for any album since at least 1991, when SoundScan — a tracking service now owned by Nielsen — began collecting reliable data from retailers. The success of 25 follows in the wake of that of the first album single, Hello, which went platinum and has become the UK’s fastest selling song of the year.

The current one week record is held by 90s boy band *NSYNC, which moved 2.42 million in 2000 when it dropped ‘No Strings Attached.’ According to Billboard, that project has remained the sole album that moved more than 2 million copies in a week. In isolation, these figures are impressive, but against the backdrop of massively declining album sales over the past five years, such predictions are unprecedented for an album released in 2015. A spokesman for Target, which is selling a version of the CD with three extra songs, said that “25” had the biggest opening-day sales of any album in the store’s history. “Adele is a phenomenon,” said Keith Caulfield, co-director of charts at Billboard. “She connects with fans in such a way that they want to invest in her, and her music.” No album has sold at this scale since ’N Sync moved 2.4 million copies of “No Strings Attached” in 2000 — a time when annual CD sales were more than five times greater than they are now, and record labels relied on a network of large chain stores, like Tower Records and HMV, that has now largely vanished. Those services have racked up tens of millions of subscribers around the world but have been criticized by many artists over the royalties they pay, and the effect that they may have on sales.

The figures secure Adele’s place, along with Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, among the 1% of artists who can reliably sell albums in big numbers, in contrast to the 99% lower down the charts whose sales are in freefall. While music industry experts argue that this “superstar artist economy” has always existed to some extent, the changing trends in music platforms and consumption have widened the gap more than ever. Yet the industry analyst Mark Mulligan said that the market was very different to fours years ago when Adele released 21, and predicted it would be a struggle to overtake it in terms of long-term album sales, particularly CDs. Mulligan said: “The important thing that Adele did with 21 was she managed to get lots of fading music buyers back out of the woodwork and buying albums. Mulligan also stressed that while several people have claimed that 25 will be the record that “saves the music industry”, even if it is a blockbuster, it will be “swimming against the tide”. “It will be atypical,” he said. “It’s not a reflection of where the industry is going, and just because we have one big successful album sale it doesn’t mean everybody’s going to start buying albums again.

However, Keith Harris, chair of Music Tank, an industry thinktank and information hub, predicted that this would not be a permanent decision and that Adele was only creating a window to boost album sales. Unlike Swift, whose predominately young fans are the biggest consumers of music through streaming services, many of Adele’s fans are from older generations who still purchase music both in physical and digital formats. The democratisation of music, where anyone in a bedroom or any indie label can put music online and upload it on to streaming services – bypassing all music industry gatekeepers – has led to what Mulligan called an overabundance of “filler drivel”, which was too overwhelming to those seeking out music.

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