Adele, the music comet, returns with “30”. How bright will it be?

Since “25”, Adele has become a streaming star. Like Swift, she was a notable resistance when the format was newer, keeping her full LP out of streaming services for months to help maximize sales. Since then, Swift – whose protest was more rooted in its discomfort with free levels of some services – has released six studio albums, gradually refining its approach to streaming and sales (hello, product packs and vinyl pre-orders).

Adele, meanwhile, dives headfirst into a rapidly changing music business. Streaming now accounts for around 84% of domestic recorded music sales revenue, and while luxury vinyl and CD packages can help push a new album to number one, online clicks are generally critical to its success at long term.

So far, Adele seems to have a strong position. “Easy on Me” has aired 134 million times in the United States since its release a month ago, according to MRC Data, the tracking arm of Billboard.

After “25,” Adele’s songs have attracted 700 to 800 million US streams each year, even without new material, according to MRC. Chartmetric, a company that tracks streaming and social media data, found that Adele’s song playlist, while growing over the years, increased dramatically as the anticipation of “30” increased this year. “Easy on Me” is featured on nearly 300,000 Spotify playlists, reaching nearly 360 million subscribers, according to Chartmetric.

This success extends to almost every sector of the music industry – traditional retailers, streaming services and radio stations.

“She’s the Christmas present you’ve been looking forward to,” said Poleman, of iHeartMedia, “except Christmas only comes every five to six years.”

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