Adele got Spotify to change the default-shuffle option for her album ’30’

An Audience With Adele, 21 November 2021

Do you listen to albums straight through, in order? Even before Spotify and iTunes, I never did. I’m a dinosaur who still remembers CDs and cassette tapes, and there are only a handful of albums I could just sit and listen to in the proper “song order.” Fiona Apple’s Tidal. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Um… end of list. But Adele wants people to listen to 30 in order! And Spotify listened. They disabled the “shuffle” function just for Adele.

When it comes to her art, Adele has a certain way she likes things to be done. The singer believes the tracks on an album should be listened to in their order of arrangement — and now she’s got streaming giant Spotify onside.

Following the release of her fourth album “30,” the shuffle button is no longer the default option for album listening on Spotify — but rather listeners will hear the tracks in their listed order.

“This was the only request I had in our ever changing industry!” Adele wrote on Twitter Sunday. “We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening.”

It seems Spotify was more than happy to oblige, writing “anything for you” in reply to the singer’s tweet. “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,” a Spotify spokesperson told CNN. “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.”

[From CNN]

Okay? I feel like maybe the energy around this Adele album has been more subdued than people were expecting, and I still haven’t listened to the full album anyway. I wasn’t even planning on buying the whole album! But sure, I get that Adele wants her fans to listen to the album in a certain way. I just think that maybe there are other things to care about!

Meanwhile, Adele did a special in the UK and there’s a clip of her seeing her favorite teacher and crying. It’s really beautiful! And the Alan Carr part was f–king hilarious.

An Audience With Adele, 21 November 2021

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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13 Responses to “Adele got Spotify to change the default-shuffle option for her album ’30’”

  1. blisteringsun says:

    i don’t use spotify, so i might be missing something as far as how it works. but shouldn’t i, as the listener/customer, be able to decide how i want to listen to a particular piece of music? i understand adele, like most artists, have a vision of how they want their art to be interpreted; but once you release it, it’s a bit out of your hands, i think.

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t use spotify either, but my understanding is that Adele’s issue is that the DEFAULT was to shuffle. Like if you went on Spotify and selected this album it would default to shuffling the songs. Adele asked them to make the “original” album the default setting; then you can shuffle the songs yourself if you want. So her issue wasnt that a listener might listen to the album out of order, it was that Spotify was doing that for a listener automatically. So it wasnt that you, as the listener, might decide to listen to the album in a different order as a general thing.

      • blisteringsun says:

        ah, that makes so much more sense. thank you for taking the time to explain. my reading comprehension isn’t usually so bad-i blame monday.

    • Sof says:

      You can either pay for Spotify (Premium) or listen to it for free with a few advertisements every few songs. Now, the phone app for the free users has a default shuffle feature, meaning that while you can listen to the album of your preference, you can’t choose which songs. It’s different if you log in a computer, there you choose whatever you want.
      Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with it, that’s what I understood.

  2. Daisy says:

    You can still listen on shuffle, you just have to click on the option to do it now since it’s not the default anymore. It didn’t change much for me because I have Spotify premium, but it’s nice for free users that couldn’t listen to albuns in order. I personally always hated listening on shuffle, only do it with my specific playlists.

  3. Same says:

    Depends on the artist … TS I listen to in order because she builds a canvas … I’ll trust Adele and listen to this the same way . Then I’ll download what touches me and add it to my shuffle playlist .

  4. lucy2 says:

    I think they should do that for everyone. I rarely use Spotify, but I do like listening to some albums in order, and I would imagine some artist put a lot of thought into the arrangement.

  5. ElleV says:

    Did they disable the shuffle button, or is it just no longer the default play option? Cause I can get wanting albums to default to play through in the order intended by the artist, but if they disabled the shuffle function on the album page entirely that’s dumb

  6. aggie says:

    Adele is one of the few artists with real power in her relationship with Spotify, and that’s how she chooses to leverage it?

    • Legalese says:

      She actually doesn’t have as much power as you would think. This is her first album that’s actually being released on a streaming service – 25 wasn’t on Spotify or Apple Music until a year after it’s release, and obviously 21 and 19 weren’t released on streaming services. She’s even talked about how everyone – herself, her team, the label – wasn’t sure how this new album would be received by the “new” music industry (that is, streaming). And Easy on Me has done well, but her album thus far hasn’t had crazy streaming numbers. She does much better with pure sales. So yeah, much less leverage than you’d think.

  7. Feebee says:

    When I got a new CD I would listen to the singles releases first but then I’d go through and listen from first to last. Most albums do tell a story but I realized I didn’t appreciate that until I was older.

  8. BeeCee says:

    I usually listen to albums straight through but after I’ve listened to it once, I select songs I want on my own playlists and shuffle from there. Or will just shuffle the album to mix up my listening.

    One band that I will always listen to their albums straight without shuffling is Mariana’s Trench, because each song starts and ends with bits from the previous/next song so they truly are made to listen in order. Those are the types of albums I really love.

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