Ed Sheeran has had a busy year. In addition to travelling the world, playing concerts and promoting his album, X [multiply], Ed has been busy breaking records, and they are not of the vinyl kind. Back in July, it was reported in the Inquisitr that Sheeran had sold out three consecutive nights at London’s massive Wembley Stadium. Ed was the first solo artist to achieve this feat. Sheeran has long been the most streamed artist on music service Spotify, and has said on several occasions that he is a big fan of the online music service.
Back in December of 2014, Sheeran was the big winner at the inaugural BBC music awards, and after the awards ceremony, Ed told the BBC that he believed that his success was largely a result of his exposure on Spotify.
“My music has been streamed 860 million times, which means that it’s getting out to people.
“I’m playing sold-out gigs in South America, I’ve sold out arenas in Korea and south-east Asia. I don’t think I’d be able to do that without Spotify. For me, Spotify is not even a necessary evil. It helps me do what I want to do.”
Of course, not all artists share Sheeran’s enthusiasm for Spotify. Ed’s friend, Taylor Swift, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead, both withdrew their music from Spotify, complaining about the “derisory” rates that artists are paid when their music is streamed. The average rate per play on Spotify is just $0.007, and artists that do not have millions of plays earn virtually nothing from the service.
Sheeran’s catalog has almost three billion streams on Spotify. According to the Telegraph, it is estimated that one in four users of the service have that Sheeran song on their playlists.
Earlier this week, Yahoo! News reported that Sheeran’s unofficial wedding anthem, “Thinking Out Loud,” has now chalked up over half a billion streams on Spotify. This means that one song has earned Sheeran some $3.5 million in royalties from Spotify, whilst his entire catalog has earned Ed over $20 million.
“Chuffed to hear that Thinking Out Loud has had half a billion plays on Spotify. Being the first artist to hit that milestone is amazing. Thanks to all the people who use this as a wedding song, soundtrack to a date, and as a way to woo someone into a Netflix-and-chill situation.”
Spotify claim that over 19 million people play at least one Ed Sheeran song on Spotify every month, and over 38 million playlists have at least one Sheeran song on it. Of course, Spotify is far from the only revenue stream that Sheeran enjoys. Ed’s album was a huge seller on both sides of the Atlantic, and Sheeran is now enjoying success with his own record label. The first album released on Sheeran’s “Gingerbread Man” label was by singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson, and predictably, the release went straight to the top of the iTunes chart.
It would seem that other artists have some way to go if they want to catch up with Sheeran’s landmark record. Ed’s closest rival is over 230 million plays behind “Thinking Out Loud.” The figures are mind boggling.
Reaching the 500 million streams landmark is not even the only record that “Thinking Out Loud” has set for Sheeran. The song was the first single ever to spend a full year in the U.K. Top 40 chart, and it hit No. 1 all over the world. Sheeran’s album was the most streamed on Spotify last year.
It is easy to see why Ed Sheeran loves Spotify. Ed has over 20 million reasons to be thankful to the service.
[Photo by Mark Sagliocco / Getty Images]