Back in 2000, boy band *NSYNC became one of the most successful breakthrough artists in the history of pop music when the group’s album No Strings Attached was first released and sold close to 2.5 million copies on its first week. Fifteen years later, Adele has officially surpassed their record.
The British singer has just broken the single-week U.S. album sales record based on the figures Nielsen music recently gathered.
Adele’s album 25 sold 2.433 million copies since its debut on Friday, according to Nielsen. On Monday, Billboard confirmed that 25 sold 2.3 million in pure album sales within just three days. As per music forecasters’ predictions, the singer’s album is expected to reach at least 2.9 million in terms of pure album sales before the end of sales tracking week.
— *NSYNC (@NSYNC) November 25, 2015
The album debuted on November 20 through Columbia and XL. Billboard will release the final figures on Sunday, November 29.
“We know 25 will be one of the biggest albums this holiday season,” Target spokesman Lee Henderson said in an interview with EW.
The store saw a massive surge in sales with Adele’s album. “Hello,” the first single off the album 25, had the biggest sales week and has remained a chart topper since then. Adele also broke YouTube viewing records after the music video for the song came out.
Adele beat *NSYNC’s record at a time when online streaming and piracy are very common. With the advent of smartphones, accessibility to the internet, and portable music players, online music streaming is way more convenient than purchasing CDs. Moreover, buying the physical record when you have online subscription seems redundant.
Despite all these factors, the singer managed to sell millions of album copies. How did she do it?
Adele and her record label, Columbia, made the decision to withhold the release of the album in popular streaming services such as Apple Music, Deezer, and Spotify.
“(In 2000), the physical album was the only point of entry for people,” Dave Bakula, Senior Vice President of Industry Insights for Nielsen Music explained.
“This thing is going to be pushing close to three million by the end of the week, a number I don’t think anybody in the industry thought we’d see, ever. It’s crazy.”
According to Bakula, CD and digital sales are split about 50/50. Will this strategy be the answer to help other musicians boost album record sales? Bakula does not think withholding album from Spotify or Apple Music will work for other artists like it did for Adele.
— ReutersBreakingviews (@Breakingviews) November 24, 2015
“The thing that concerns me the most is that other artists that aren’t named Taylor or Adele are going to think this is the right strategy for them,” Bakula stated. “And this doesn’t work for everybody like it does for Adele.”
Bakula could not believe that *NSYNC, who held the record for the biggest sales in its opening week for 15 years, will finally be replaced by another musical act.
“Every single person in the industry has said ‘I never thought I’d see this,” Bakula added. “It’s the double-rainbow with the unicorn at the end.”
Adele has been busy promoting her latest album. Last week, she started promoting 25 and filmed an upcoming special entitled Adele: Live in New York City. The British songstress also appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show and participated in the segment “Box of Lies.”
The question now is, will other artists follow Adele’s strategy and pull out their albums from music streaming services? How will this affect the music streaming industry?
[Image via YouTube]