A secret to Adele's success - older music fans

According to sales tracking service Nielsen Music, American consumers who bought Adele’s 25 CD in its first week were 36 per cent more likely than the average American to be between ages 55 and 64.
According to sales tracking service Nielsen Music, American consumers who bought Adele’s 25 CD in its first week were 36 per cent more likely than the average American to be between ages 55 and 64.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • With Adele's album 25 breaking sales records, one of the keys to the British singer's success is an unusual pop music demographic - older adults.

The buyers of 25 come from "a demographic not normally closely examined in the millennial-fixated entertainment industry", sales tracking service Nielsen Music said in a study.

American consumers who bought the CD in its first week were 36 per cent more likely than the average American to be between ages 55 and 64, Nielsen said.

They also skewed wealthier, with buyers two-thirds more likely to have a household income above US$100,000 (S$141,000) a year.

I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. I don’t like her music. I think it’s music for f****** grannies.

NOELGALLAGHER, British rocker of Oasis fame

However, the study did not look at those who bought it on iTunes and who could presumably be younger.

Nielsen released the data last Thursday as it announced that 25 had sold more than five million copies since its release on Nov 20.

The album becomes the first to sell five million within a calendar year since 21, the previous album by Adele, in 2011.

The singer, best known for her ballads of heartache, is often said to enjoy such phenomenal success because of her appeal across ages and backgrounds.

By contrast, many other leading pop stars including Taylor Swift - the best-selling artist in the United States last year - market themselves largely to a young, including pre-adult, audience.

Noel Gallagher, the sharp- tongued British rocker of Oasis fame, recently cited Adele's appeal to an older demographic as he denounced her work.

"I just don't see what all the fuss is about. I don't like her music. I think it's music for f****** grannies," he told Australia's Music Feeds site.

In Britain, 25 broke the single-week sales record set by Oasis for the 1997 album, Be Here Now.

Adele's label made the unusual decision not to make her hugely anticipated album available on online streaming services, obliging fans to buy it.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2015, with the headline 'A secret to Adele's success - older music fans'. Print Edition | Subscribe