So let’s get this straight—when the rest of us tried to turn off shuffle mode on the free version of Spotify, we were told that feature didn’t exist, and to direct our complaint to the forum section (where it would be ignored). But when Adele uses her incredible sway and power in the music industry to ask the music streaming platform giant to disable shuffle for not just her new album 30, but all albums, Spotify jumps at it. All right Adele, you’ve won this match.
Seriously though, we can’t be mad, because music fans, along with recording artists, have long been championing this change, and it took one scrappy gal from Tottenham to get’r done. Much respect.
Before this change, if you had a free account, you didn’t have the option to listen to an album in order from beginning to end as shuffle mode was set to default. Now, Premium subscribers can opt to listen to an album on shuffle, and any subscriber can still use the Radio or Playlist feature to mix and match, but when you click on any artist’s album, the default playing mode is chronological. Spotify confirmed the change, first by cheekily responding to Adele on Twitter with a cute, “Anything for you.”
Later, in a statement to CNN, a Spotify spokesperson said, “As Adele mentioned, we are excited to share that we have begun rolling out a new Premium feature that has been long requested by both users and artists to make play the default button on all albums. For those users still wishing to shuffle an album, they can go to the Now Playing View and select the shuffle toggle. As always, we will continue to iterate our products and features to create the best experiences for both artists and their fans."
This isn’t the first time Adele has taken issue with Spotify. Back when she released her album 25, she made sure it wasn’t available on the streaming platform, or any to be fair. She said at the time, “I believe music should be an event. I don't use streaming. I buy my music. I download it, and I buy a physical [copy] just to make up for the fact that someone else somewhere isn't.”
She told TIME that she felt streaming was “a bit disposable” and although she acknowledged it was the way of the future, she wasn’t comfortable with it yet. Ultimately, that album was later added to streaming.
Adele isn’t the only artist who has expressed frustration with shuffle mode. Last year, upon the release of her album Chromatica, Lady Gaga tweeted there was “no need to shuffle” because the album told her story “from beginning to end.”
And of course, who could forget when Taylor Swift pulled her catalogue from Spotify in 2014 after the release of 1989, citing unfair compensation for artists. She also sent an open letter to Apple asking that the world’s biggest music retailer change its policies on how artists are compensated. By 2017, Taylor and Spotify struck a deal and her catalogue returned to the platform.
As for Adele, her first single off 30, “Easy On Me” broke Spotify’s record for most streamed song, and her in-depth interview with Oprah last week during her One Night Only special helped launch the album into the stratosphere, knocking Taylor Swift’s album Red (Taylor’s Version) off the top of the iTunes charts.
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