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800+ playlist-adds took Ed Sheeran to 69m listeners (and 46.5m first-day streams) on Spotify


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Spotify is putting out some stats around the latest Ed Sheeran album. According to its announcement this morning, Sheeran has set a new record for monthly listeners on Spotify: he’s on 69.1 million at the time of writing, with the 70 million milestone in his sights.

That means nearly 32% of Spotify’s active users (based on its 217m end-of-Q1 total) are currently listening to Ed Sheeran in some form.

Another figure from the press release this morning offers some context for that with his latest album ‘No. 6 Collaborations Project’. “Music from his album landed in more than 800 official Spotify playlists, an incredible and rare feat,” explained Spotify.

Drake aside, it’s perhaps the most concerted effort yet by the streaming service to promote an album across its playlists ecosystem.

The press release didn’t give a figure for the new album’s streams, despite mentioning the record-breaking 56m+ first-day streams for Sheeran’s 2017 album ‘Divide’. Music Ally contacted Spotify and the company provided a comparable figure for ‘No. 6 Collaborations Project’: it did 46.5m first-day streams on Spotify (an analysis from MBW earlier this week arrived at a similar figure).

That’s 9.5m less than ‘Divide’, despite Spotify’s growth from 132 million active users at the end of March 2017 (‘Divide’ was released that month) to 217 million at the end of March 2019, and despite those 800+ playlist adds for tracks from the new album.

Not that we’re starting a ‘Sheeran’s Going Down The Dumper’ bandwagon here: an album of starry collaborations has plenty of potential for driving streams in the months to come, so first-day figures won’t tell its full story.

Spotify is chuffed, anyway, with its UK head of artist and label services and acting head of music culture and editorial Sulinna Ong providing more info on the DSP’s partnership with Sheeran’s label.

“Ed Sheeran is an undisputed international superstar, so it’s really no surprise he and the Atlantic UK team are enjoying such success. He and his team were eager to leverage Spotify’s discovery capabilities to reach fans across our nearly 80 markets around the world and make No. 6 Collaborations Project even more of a global sensation. From prominent out-of-home advertising and exclusive listening parties across key markets, to a custom playlist featuring in-depth track-by-track interviews, this was a holistic campaign that was thought through at every angle,” said Ong in a statement.

“Further, given the collaborative and cross-genre nature of the album, the music was uniquely positioned to target an especially wide array of listeners — both fans of Ed, and the many featured artists — and music from his album landed in more than 800 official Spotify playlists, an incredible and rare feat.”

Stuart Dredge

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