LOS ANGELES • British singer Adele's much-anticipated album 25 will not be available for streaming on any digital music services, including Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, the companies said on Thursday.
Apple Inc confirmed that 25, which was released yesterday by XL/Columbia, will not be available for streaming on Apple Music.
But it said in a statement that Adele's latest single, Hello, will continue to be available for streaming and that it was "thrilled to offer" the album for sale on its online store iTunes.
Spotify confirmed that its users would not have access to the new album. "We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify. We hope she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy 25 on Spotify alongside 19 and 21 very soon," the company said in a statement.
A spokesman for Adele declined to comment. The New York Times first reported the move.
Adele is said to have been personally involved with the decision, which mirrors one made a year ago by American pop princess Taylor Swift when she withdrew her music from Spotify, complaining that the service was devaluing her music by letting its users listen to it free.
Swift later made a deal to add her newest album, 1989, to Apple Music.
Beyonce withheld her last album, Beyonce, from streaming for nearly a year after releasing it in late 2013.
"This is a minor issue for Adele, but a major issue for the streaming services," said digital media analyst Mark Mulligan of Midia Research. "For two years running, they've not had the biggest album of the year."
Adele's 25 is poised to be one of the biggest hit albums the music world has seen in years.
According to Billboard magazine, music executives expect the album to sell about 2.5 million copies in its first week in the United States, a sum that is all but unheard of today. The last album to have sales at that level in its first week was 'N Sync's No Strings Attached, which moved just over 2.4 million copies in early 2000, at the peak of the CD era.
Adele's new album is being withheld not only from outlets such as Spotify - which has paid and free versions, supported by advertisements - but also those like Apple Music and Rhapsody that do not use the so-called freemium model. The freemium approach, cham- pioned by Spotify, lets users listen for free, as long as they like, in the hope they will buy subscriptions to eliminate advertisements and get other perks.
Some music executives said on Thursday that it was possible Adele could decide to add her album to streaming services after a "window" that could be as short as a week.
REUTERS, NEW YORK TIMES