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While Columbia Records had originally intended to release “Rumour Has It” as the next pop and adult radio single from Adele’s album 21, the label will instead promote “Set Fire to the Rain” as the set’s next focus track at the formats.
“Fire” goes for airplay at adult pop, adult contemporary and triple A Nov. 21, followed by a push to pop radio in December.
“Our research found more programmer preference for ‘Set Fire to the Rain’,” says Columbia Sr. VP/promotion-adult formats Pete Cosenza. “Both ‘Rumour’ and ‘Fire’ came back strong, but ‘Fire’ was a bit stronger.”
The blues/rock-leaning “Rumour” has built familiarity via its No. 1 chart run on the adult alternative Triple A chart, but pop and adult radio decision-makers have voiced their vote for the more lushly-produced, power chord-driven “Fire.”
Consumers, too. “Fire” has racked 683,000 in digital sales as an album cut, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In contrast, “Rumour” has sold 408,000.
Despite not having been previously been formally serviced to radio, “Fire” has gained exposure by appearing in promotional campaigns for the final season of FX’s Rescue Me and for The CW’s Ringer and ABC’s Revenge.
“Fire” has helped 21 tally 4.3 million in sales, the year’s top album sales sum. The set’s “Rolling in the Deep” commanded the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and has sold 5.5 million downloads. Piano ballad “Someone Like You” followed with a five-week Hot 100 reign and has sold 2.7 million downloads.
Citing more than 61 million YouTube views for a mere lyric video of the song, Cosenza is optimistic that “Fire” will heat up radio like its predecessor singles from 21.
“It’s a better plan to go with ‘Fire’ over ‘Rumour’ at pop and adult radio,” he says. “Everyone, from radio to the buying public, seems to be on board.”
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