Streaming services may be far and away the preferred outlet to listen to music, and if you’re a brand new band hitting the scene, you can’t afford to go without it. However, not every big artist is following, or even needs to follow, the trend: Taylor Swift, for example, refused to let her 2014 record, 1989, grace Spotify, while Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo was initially a Tidal exclusive before making its way to other streaming apps. Now, another artist won’t be putting their music up for easy listening upon release: Jason Aldean.
The country star will be releasing his new album, They Don’t Know, on September 9th, but you aren’t going to be able to find it on your favorite streaming service — not even Tidal, where the singer was one of the owners for Jay Z’s intended Spotify-killer. Aldean is instead going to be issuing the album for stream a month later on October 9th, so if you want to check it out before then, you’re going to have to go old school and buy it.
“A new album is just like anything else,” Aldean tells Billboard about the rationale behind his decision. “When the new iPhone comes out, when you go to the Apple store, they’re not just handing them out for free. If you want something that’s brand new, you’re willing to pay the price for it. And then, after it’s been out for a while, you may get it at a discount. That’s just business 101.”
Aldean is following in the footsteps of stars like Adele, who also held her record hostage from streaming for the first seven months, but in that time, 25 went on to sell over eight million copies and broke the single-week sales record for a debut. Perhaps Aldean is shooting for the same? Maybe that’s a little bit optimistic, but Aldean is still one of the best selling artists in music, and his last album, Old Boots, New Dirt, swept the charts at number one and was certified platinum.
According to Nielsen Music’s mid-year 2016 report, streaming grew a total of 97.4 percent compared to this time last year, but when it comes to strictly physical albums, country records sell 13.1 percent of the entire market. Maybe Aldean has the right idea then?