It’s been a great week for the music industry. Soul-pop queen Adele’s new album, 25, has sold more copies in its first week of existence than any other album ever at an astonishing 3 million copies–and the album was released on November 20th.
In its first week, 25 has surpassed the former top-selling female artist, Britney Spears, whose album Oops! I Did It Again did single-week album sales of 1.32 million copies. Adele has also beaten out *NSYNC’s former record of 2.42 million albums sold in a week, a number that was unthinkable at the time in 2000.
And it’s more than just the album that’s doing well, both digitally and in physical album sales. The first single from 25, “Hello,” has already racked up 500 million views on YouTube. The song has already reached Vevo’s “most viewed of all time” list, which also includes Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and a host of Taylor Swift’s songs.
Even physical CD sales have jumped in sales, a usually tough trade in an industry where most people purchase music digitally and download it onto their computers, phones, and music devices.
Adele has not allowed her new album to be put on music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, following other big-power artists like Beyonce and Taylor Swift, who did not initially release her music on streaming services because she felt it devalued her music if people could listen to it for free. Most other musicians don’t have the option of weighing in on how their music is consumed, but because Adele is one of the best-selling and most well-liked in the business, she wields more power than most others.
However, it is likely that Adele will release her music on streaming services eventually. And currently, it looks like Pandora is going to be playing 25 anyway, which it can do because it does not make deals with labels. This means that Pandora can stream any song with a U.S. copyright if it pays a federal fee–which of course would be worth paying for a beloved artist like Adele.
Streaming services or no, Adele’s album has proven to be a powerful one–possibly with enough juice to boost the entire music industry.