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Don't expect to find Adele's '25' on Spotify tomorrow

Don't expect to find Adele's '25' on Spotify tomorrow
Adele's new album, "25." (Alexander Schippers / European Pressphoto Agency)

Adele's first album in nearly five years is hitting store shelves Friday, but fans shouldn't expect to find it on Spotify or Apple Music.

Record label representatives have told streaming-music companies that the British singer's hoped-for smash, "25," will not be made available to their services, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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The "Hello" singer's decision, first reported by the New York Times, comes about a year after fellow superstar Taylor Swift decided to pull her catalog from Spotify, the largest on-demand streaming service, over royalty rates. Columbia Records is releasing "25" in the U.S.

"We love and respect Adele, as do her 24 million fans on Spotify," said a Spotify spokesman in a statement. "We hope that she will give those fans the opportunity to enjoy '25' on Spotify alongside '19' and '21' very soon."

Adele's decision did not surprise Tyler Goldman, chief executive of North America for the French streaming company Deezer. After all, "21" wasn't initially available on Spotify either.

Goldman, however, says that while the tactic may generate an early sales bump for Adele, it won't impede the rise of streaming, which is virtually the only growth area for the recorded music industry.

"The future of growth in the music industry is dependent on paid streaming," Goldman said. "It's not like users want to go back to downloads and CDs."

Spotify has 75 million users, 20 million of whom pay for a monthly fee for its ad-free version. Deezer, which is not widely available in the U.S., has 6 million paying subscribers.

Not many musicians have the luxury of withholding music from services such as Spotify, Jay-Z's Tidal and Deezer, where young listeners are migrating in lieu of buying albums, and from iTunes, Target and Wal-Mart.

But "25," the follow-up to the hit "21," is all but certain to be a blockbuster. The first single, "Hello," sold a record 1.1 million copies in its first week of release, and its video has more than 415 million views.

According to Billboard, "25" has a chance to break the record for most albums sold in a week, currently held by 'N Sync's 2000 release "No Strings Attached" at 2.4 million units.

Other acts not available on streaming services include the Beatles, prog rock outfit Tool, country star Garth Brooks and indie singer Joanna Newsom.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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