There are people out there who believe Adele somehow let down the music business by not putting her new album, 25, on streaming services in its opening week.
Then there are those who believe that these songs belong to Adele (plus XL/Beggars, Sony and UMPG) – and therefore she can do what the heck she likes with them.
Today, her decision appears to have been rather emphatically vindicated.
According to the Official Charts Company, 25 sold a whopping 300,000 units in its first 24 hours on sale in the UK yesterday (November 20), securing platinum status in the market by midnight last night.
It registers as one of the biggest first opening day album sales totals in UK history – slightly behind the first 24 hours of Oasis’s Be Here Now in 1997 (424,000 sales), but ahead of Take That’s Progress in 2010 (217,500).
The tally is also significantly bigger than the debut of 25’s record-breaking predecessor, 21, which sold 208,000 in its opening week back in 2011.
MBW understands that a million units of Adele’s 25 have been shipped into UK retail. Optimistic forecasts suggesting it could go double-platinum (600k+ sales) in its first seven days now look increasingly realistic.
A high-up UK retail source told us pre-release that anything under 250k in 25’s first week would have been a disappointment – a milestone it’s already smashed.
“500k would be good… 700k would be great,” they added.
Early sales will have been given a significant boost by ‘Adele At The BBC’ – an hour-long TV special which aired on BBC One at 8.30pm UK time last night.
One TV industry expert tells MBW that the show is likely to have attracted somewhere around 5m viewers. The below sketch has already pulled in over 2m views on YouTube. (Watch it, it’s genuinely heartwarming.)
Meanwhile, early indications from the US suggest that 25’s first day on sale in the market was equally as successful as its UK outing – with Hits Magazine calling its commercial performance “beyond belief”.
Analysts are predicting that 25 will sell between 2m and 3m in its debut week in the States.
25 almost certainly sold 600,000+ in the US yesterday, indicate MBW sources.
[Update: It’s even bigger than we thought: Billboard reports that 25 sold more than 900,000 copies in the US on day one… on iTunes alone. That means if it sold at least 100,000 at physical retail – a given, really – then it would have shifted 1m in a day in the States, passing that market’s own platinum threshold.]
When you factor in the UK day-one figure plus an approximation of sales in the rest of the world, the album will have comfortably sold more than a million copies globally in its first 24 hours.
What was all that about Adele making a mistake with her streaming strategy again?
(That’s “dumb and uneducated” Adele, according to Bob Lefsetz – who believes “physical will be dead” this time next year. Okay mate.)
As for Spotify, it’s waiting patiently for an album which one music biz player today told MBW was “the ultimate outlier”; an album completely in its own lane, with its own rules.
“We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify,” Daniel Ek’s company said in a statement.
“We hope that she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy 25 on Spotify alongside 19 and 21 very soon.”Music Business Worldwide