"It's becoming more popular, but it still isn't at a point where you're able to replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams," drummer Patrick Carney told VH1. "So it felt unfair to people who purchased our album to allow people to just go on a website and stream the album for free whenever they wanted."
While Carney endorsed streaming services for younger bands seeking exposure, he said it didn't make financial sense for the Black Keys.
"For a band that makes a living selling music, it's not at a point yet to be feasible for us," he said. "It's set up to be a little bit more fair for the labels than it is for the artists, I think."
Carney didn't rule out joining the services in "a couple years." In the meantime, the Black Keys are among a handful of acts who have yet to embrace the digital development with their latest releases, including Coldplay, Mac Miller and Adele, whose top-selling "21" is only partially available for streaming.
The strategy doesn't seem to have hurt the Black Keys: the band is expected to land at No. 2 on this week's Billboard 200, with sales estimated above 150,000 -- more than double the 73,000-unit debut week of 2010's "Brothers."
The group's first headlining arena tour kicks off on March 2, with a second date recently added at New York City's Madison Square Garden after their initial date in the iconic venue sold out in 15 minutes.