Posted inNews

Music retail spending up by 11.2% in the UK this year

Very few people in the music industry want to tempt fate by publicly hailing the return of boom times. However, there are indications that 2017 could turn out to be the most impressive year of growth yet in our industry’s recent resurgence.

The publication of first-half figures from the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) yesterday was the latest piece of evidence.

According to ERA, music retail spending – including sales and streaming subscriptions – grew by 11.2% year-on-year to £564.7m in the first half of 2017.

Posted inNews

Ed Sheeran cancels 10k tickets on secondary websites

As one of the hottest tickets on the current touring scene, Ed Sheeran is understandably also one of the most sought-after artists on secondary services.

His team are trying to tackle touting though: this week they have cancelled 10,000 tickets for Sheeran’s Wembley Stadium gigs in June 2018, after finding them being resold on secondary sites for inflated sums.

“Most ­profiteering companies heeded promoters’ warnings not to trade and resell tickets that would instantly be cancelled,” said a spokesperson.

Posted inSandbox

Sandbox 178: Mixed Up

Lead: mixtapes have long been used in hip-hop, often when acts are starting out and wanting to create a buzz around themselves. Now they are becoming more common as major acts use them as an embellishment to an existing campaign or as a way to test out a creative reboot without the overpowering attention that it […]

To access this post, you must subscribe. If you are already a subscriber, log in here.

Posted inNews

T-Series and Ed Sheeran did 1bn+ YouTube views in March

We’ve been predicting for a few months now that Bollywood music brand T-Series was heading towards a new YouTube milestone of more than 1bn monthly video views.

In March it happened, but it also happened for a second music-focused channel: Ed Sheeran.

This, at least, is according to the monthly rankings published by online-video industry site Tubefilter, which use data from analytics firm OpenSlate. If their numbers are correct, T-Series racked up 1.18bn views in March, up 30% month-on-month.

Posted inAnalysis

From Japanese Instagram cats to Suffolk road-safety ads: marketing Ed Sheeran’s Divide

We know all about the big digital numbers around the new Ed Sheeran album ‘Divide’, from 375m first-week Spotify streams to more than 1bn YouTube video views.

What we didn’t know so much about was the marketing behind the release, although our interest was piqued when one of Sheeran’s new tracks appeared in a Snapchat lens during the run-up to the album’s release.

Label Atlantic Records and its parent company Warner Music Group are playing a long game with ‘Divide’ – the overall marketing campaign for ‘Divide’ could last until 2019, tuned to the demands of the music-streaming era.

We asked them to tell us about some of the tactics being used around the world so far to get the word out on the album.

From Instagram cats in Japan to video trucks in Taiwan and pop-up shops in Poland, here are some of the highlights so far: a snapshot of some (not all) of the local elements to this kind of global music marketing campaign.

Posted inData

Drake More Life races to 78m streams on Spotify

Unlike his last album ‘Views’, Drake’s new release ‘More Life’ is available on every streaming service from day one. It’s already reaping the rewards on Spotify.

The album (although it’s officially being referred to as a ‘playlist’) has raced to 78.5m streams on Spotify since its release on Saturday, according to the streaming service’s public metrics, which were updated earlier today.

The obvious comparison is to the 56.7m first-day streams of Ed Sheeran’s latest album ‘Divide’ earlier in March, which shattered the previous record, 29m first-day streams for The Weeknd’s ‘Starboy’.

Posted inNews

Ed Sheeran gets involved in Facebook copyright row

Covers musician Charlotte Campbell found herself temporarily locked out of her Facebook account last week after posting a short clip of her covering Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’.

She was on the wrong end of a copyright strike that saw her barred from her page for three days, with the threat of a permanent ban if she was caught again.

A sign that Facebook’s long-promised copyright protection system is up and running? Some might say that, but not Sheeran himself, who appears to have been alerted to Campbell’s situation, then popped up in her comments to stress his support.

Posted inAnalysis

Ed Sheeran, the charts and the law of unintended consequences

Congratulations to Ed Sheeran and label Atlantic Records, who enjoyed a record-breaking week for sales, streams and chart placements as expected.

Sheeran’s home country was one of the first to declare figures, with his ‘Divide’ album racking up 672k first-week units in the UK alone, behind only Oasis’ ‘Be Here Now’ (696k) and Adele’s ’25’ (800k) from the history of the albums chart, according to the Official Charts Company.

As hinted at last week, physical sales played a big part in Sheeran’s success, accounting for 62% of those first-week units, compared to 26% from download sales and 12% from streams converted into ‘sales’ for the purposes of the chart.

Posted inNews

Physical to the fore in Ed Sheeran’s monster sales week

Ed Sheeran is a racing certainty to top the album charts in the US and UK this week with ‘Divide’. But what’s interesting is the heavy lifting being done by sales in that success.

Billboard claimed yesterday that the album could do more than 450k album-equivalent units in its first week in the US. “Of that sum, perhaps 300,000 could be comprised of traditional album sales,” it reported.

Posted inNews

YouTube as well as Spotify helped Ed Sheeran album soar

Ed Sheeran was inescapable last week in the run-up to the release of his new album ‘÷’ (or ‘Divide’ for easier reading).

From TV appearances and video interviews to massive promotion on streaming services to running around HMV wearing a t-shirt of his own album cover, he was everywhere. So far, that’s translating into some exceptionally strong stats.

Start with Spotify, which continues to be markedly more willing than rivals to publish detailed figures for its platform.

Posted inNews

Ed Sheeran added 1.4m YouTube subscribers in January

With the ‘value gap’ debate making headlines again, one musician was quietly building his audience on YouTube in January: Ed Sheeran.

According to Tubefilter’s monthly chart of the top YouTube channels by new subscribers – tapping data from OpenSlate – Sheeran added nearly 1.4 million in January alone, taking his total to 11.7 million.

That should come as no surprise though: Sheeran’s channel published four new videos in January. Lyric videos for his new singles ‘Castle on the Hill’ and ‘Shape of You’ went live on 5 January, and have since generated 147m and 348m views respectively (note, those figures include views in February too).