She might be the most powerful woman in the music business. But it appears even Adele can’t persuade Apple to fill its temples of digital technology with the CD hard copy of her new album.
Reports from the US suggested that the William Morris Endeavor agency, which represents Adele, is playing hardball over negotiations for a $30m (£19.5m) tour sponsorship deal to accompany the best-selling singer’s return.
The New York Post said the deal, worth ten times a typical commercial tour arrangement for a star name, hinged upon the demands of Adele’s team that physical CD copies of her album, 25, would be sold in Apple’s retail outlets. The arrival of CD racks might appear retro among the Apple Stores’ rows of sleek iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. Would assistants demonstrate to millennial customers how a CD is played?
HMV and the remaining high-street music retailers could be forgiven for dreading the thought of Apple’s shops, which welcome one million customers a day, weighing in on an album which carries the physical record industry’s Christmas hopes.
Adele’s agents may have to scale back their demands. A source quoted by the Post said: “Her team needs to be more realistic about an artist who doesn’t have much of a history of working with corporate partners.”
Apple, taking iTunes download pre-orders for 25, released on 20 November, declined to comment. Industry sources indicated that Apple would not be stocking CDs in its stores, being restyled as “luxury” outlets by its design guru, Sir Jonathan Ive.
Adele is heading for record download sales of “Hello”, the first single from 25. The song, released last Friday, is expected to break the one million sales barrier by the end of the week. No 1 in 102 countries, “Hello” has recorded more than 22 million Spotify plays and its video has been viewed more than 100m times on YouTube.
Adele is finalising dates for a European tour next year. “I’d like to tour properly,” she told i-D magazine, in her first print interview for three years. Despite the financial inducements, Adele said she was determined to keep her feet on the ground. “Sometimes I think people worry about chatting to me, that I’ve changed. But I like to think I haven’t. I don’t feel like I have.”Reuse content