Album releases, before the internet was invented, went like this; an artist would record an album, a record company would then press up vinyls and have them sent to record stores everywhere. Then after recent internet innovations, instead of taking over a week for an album to reach stores, albums can be available in minutes. The store fronts are now digital, i.e. iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and more. Then streaming happened.
Spotify now has over 20 million subscribers and Apple Music has over 10 million. This has drastically changed how music is consumed. People who used to purchase multiple albums a month can now enjoy millions on streaming platforms with the touch of button. Adele’s album 25 is not currently available on any streaming platforms and her previous album was withheld from Spotify for months. She’s one of the few artists today to completely dodge streaming services. There’s a direct connection to why she’s broke so many sales and chart records, which is why I believe that soon, albums will be released in phases.
First, the album is sold, then after a week, a month or even months, an album will be available on streaming services. I mean, if you think about it, this is how Hollywood works. I think that making albums available for super-fans who would like to own it before casual listeners on streaming services is a totally great idea. Think about it, even if the album is windowed for a few days before it goes to streaming services, this allows for real fans to buy an album before a casual listener can stream it. Will this encourage pirating? I don’t think so. A real fan will buy the music if they can own it before anyone else. It’s almost like a reward for the actual fans. If you like this concept or not, I believe that this is the future of music.