Adele says streaming 'a bit disposable', music should be an 'event'

Adele accepting the British Female Solo Artist award at the BRIT Awards 2012 in London.
Adele accepting the British Female Solo Artist award at the BRIT Awards 2012 in London. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Adele, who has shunned streaming services with her record-shattering new album 25, says that she finds such online music platforms to be "a bit disposable".

The British singer, who did not explain her decision when the album came out on Nov 20, said in an interview published on Monday (Dec 21) that she herself did not use streaming sites, which allow unlimited, on-demand music.

"I believe music should be an event," she told Time magazine, saying she wanted to feel "excited" before the release day.

Voicing ambivalence about streaming, Adele said that she both downloaded and bought physical copies of music.

"It's a bit disposable, streaming," she said. "I know that streaming music is the future, but it's not the only way to consume music," she said.

While many musicians have voiced unease about the compensation from streaming, most labels and artists have decided there is no choice in the current age but to make music available on sites led by Sweden's Spotify.

But Adele's gamble appears to have paid off handsomely for her.

Sweden's Expressen newspaper estimated after the release of 25 that she would earn 60 Swedish krona (S$9.90) for each CD she sells, compared with 0.10 krona for every time one of the 11 songs is streamed on Spotify.

25 has sold nearly six million copies in the United States as of last Thursday, which marked its fourth week at the top of the chart, tracking service Nielsen Music said.

The figure makes 25 the best-selling album in the US since her last album, 21, which came out in 2011 and included the heartache ballad Someone Like You.

25 has surpassed sales of pop star Taylor Swift's 1989, which was the best-selling US album last year. Swift has been one of the most outspoken critics of Spotify, where she has not only refused to stream 1989 but took down her entire catalogue.

But Swift in June agreed to stream on tech giant Apple's streaming service as it launched.

On Sunday, she also released a film about her 1989 tour exclusively on Apple Music.

Industry journal Billboard recently reported that The Beatles, one of music's most legendary groups but also a persistent holdout from streaming, would soon appear on at least one site.