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 top 40, adult contemporary and triple A Nov. 21, followed by a push to mainstream top 40 radio in December.
"Our research found more programmer preference for 'Set Fire to the Rain'," says Columbia senior 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."