After a four-year hiatus, Adele has finally returned to grace the music industry with her presence. Prior to the release of her third album 25, Adele and her music had created a wild fire of a buzz through all social media outlet. It was clear that the marketing team behind this project was pushing with full force and definitely reaped great rewards because of it. In observing and understanding the marketing strategy behind her music, we can possibly get a better understanding of the success that ensued.
Initially, the buzz on social media was that Adele was returning to the music scene with new music. With the great music from both of her previous albums, it was only to be expected that this album would be what the music industry was missing. Adele’s album opened up for pre-order on Friday, October 23rd and according to different articles, over 200,000 US pre-orders had been placed by Sunday, October 25th. To add to that, according to Hits Daily Double, over 100,000 of the sales came from the first day. With those types of numbers in pre-order alone it became more and more evident that upon the release date, this album was set to soar and break all barriers. I believe that her hit single, Hello, solidified the expectation that despite being out of the public eye for four years, her music in no way was dulled during that time.
I think the strongest marketing strategy was that Adele did not allow her music to be available for streaming. This meaning that Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and any other mediums that allow music to be streamed did not have access to her music. For many, this seemed like a risky decision since we are moving into the avenue of music streaming, but this proved to be an excellent strategy. According to Nielsen Soundscan figures on November 23rd, 25 had sold 900,000 paid downloads on the first day. This is a ground breaking record and the numbers are steady rising.
The marketing strategy went a step further, selling an exclusive version of her CD which included 3 bonus tracks. Again, being in a time that music has fully shifted to digital and not many buy physical CDs, her album sold in the hundreds of thousands in just the first day alone. The marketing strategy went completely against the norm and the usual marketing plan, but with selling over three million units in the U.S. in a matter of two weeks, the plan was a brilliant one in my opinion. It’s not a plan that any artist can do, but Adele pulled this off confidently and with music that is a breath of fresh air.