Coldplay: To Stream or Not to Stream?

Coldplay out, too? Bloomberg reported yesterday that the British rock band hasn't said if its new album, A Head Full of Dreams, will be available on Spotify and Apple Music tomorrow. The news comes just a few weeks after Adele decided not to stream her latest, 25.

This isn't a huge surprise from Coldplay. Both last year's Turn Blue and 2011's Mylo Xyloto weren't available to stream for the first few months after their release.

Both singles on the upcoming release are currently streaming via Spotify and Apple Music, though Coldplay used a similar strategy with Turn Blue.

Frontman Chris Martin has ownership in TIDAL, which could also play a factor in the decision.

Read the full Bloomberg article here.

What Does The Success of 25 Mean?

Adele's third album 25 is shattering all sorts of records, and is now officially the most successful first week release of all time, selling 3 million copies in the US alone.

This historic, irrefutable success is challenging conventional wisdom and fueling a tired, but fascinating conversation over the future of the recorded music business. The Adele camp's decision not to initially release 25 to streaming services has only intensified the discourse.

Is there still a place for ownership and album sales in an increasingly access-driven streaming world? Or is Adele's 25 simply an outlier, the dying gasp of a moribund business model?

Here are two reasoned, divergent opinions to consider:

Don't dismiss Adele's success as a miracle. You're better than that.

Music Business Worldwide

Music Business Worldwide Editorial Staff

Instead of being emboldened and inspired by an album's ability to send a boggling chunk of the world purchase-loopy, why are we manufacturing alibis for its success?

Is a blockbuster LP's global impact now so daunting to some music execs that when it is blindingly in evidence, it is actively discriminated against - even dismissed?

Who Is Really Paying For Adele?

The New Yorker

John Seabrook, author of The Song Machine: Inside The Hit Factory

Album sales are profitable, but they are not the future of the music business—streaming is. Could it be possible that the record business, pursuing a strategy of inflating sales by keeping an album off Spotify, Apple Music, or Deezer, is choosing short-term profits over long-term growth? (Perish the thought!) That would be consistent with the industry’s attitude toward its potential tech partners, going back to its failure to join forces with Napster in 2001 and killing Napster instead.

Adele's 25 Not Streaming

News arrived Thursday that Adele's latest album, 25, would not be available via Spotify or Apple Music.

The move is raising introspective questions for, well, just about everyone in the industry except Adele herself. 25 is expected to sell 2.5m copies in the first week, the most since 2000. Update: 1991.

Spotify, Apple, YouTube, Google, and Amazon all have on-demand streaming services now, and Pandora bolstered its position with the recently announced acquisition of Rdio's key streaming assets. Precisely how these services will serve record release strategies, especially for superstar artists, is yet to be determined.

Adele celebrated the release with an intimate show at 200-seater Joe's Pub, as well as a performance on Saturday Night Live.

The New York Times has the full story.

Read our Q&A with Dualtone's Paul Roper and hear how streaming is affecting his label's business.

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