Ed Sheeran’s long-awaited third album – his first since June 2014’s ‘x’; smashed yet another record by clocking up more than 56,727,861 Spotify streams on Friday beating the previous record held by The Weeknd with his recent album, ‘Starboy’ which generated around 29 million streams.

After announcing much needed self-imposed hiatus on his facebook post; Ed Sheeran returned with ÷ (album) that sold 232,000 physical and digital copies in the UK in its first day of release. Planned as a secret release; the album was shared on online streaming channels like YouTube and Spotify as in a way to give his fans something really unexpected which incentivizes them to share and spread the secret.

To support his secret release, Ed Sheeran uploaded his new album on his YouTube channel with more than 13 million subscribers. Within just 3 days of uploading 14 new tracks from his album; Ed Sheeran songs generated more than 69 million viewership.

When it comes to surprise albums logic, Ed Sheeran is not the only artist to drop surprise albums with little or no notice. Artists like Radiohead – (The King of Limbs), David Bowie (‘The Next Day), U2 – (Songs Of Innocence) and Beyonce’s self-titled album “Beyoncé” have been able to pull off this stunt with huge success.

Now, as per The Recording Industry Association of America’s new rules, platforms like YouTube, Vevo, Apple Music and Spotify equates 1,500 song streams from an album equated to one LP sale.

This means that 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale.

Does this mean that the distributors like Atlantic Records are considering YouTube to be “THE” platform for uploading music for free?

On-demand audio and video streams of an album by any artists on YouTube are subjected to controversy with many celebrities calling a permanent BAN on a wide variety of free pirated music uploaded by numerous users on YouTube.

“For nearly six decades, whether it’s vinyl, CDs, downloads or now streams, the Gold & Platinum Program has adapted to recognize the benchmarks of success in an evolving music marketplace,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman, and CEO, RIAA

The above statement does provide a little relief to young budding YouTubers who are embarking their journey to stardom just like other YouTubers like Justine Bibber, Lana Del Ray, Carly Rae Jepsen and others succeeded to achieve at the very start of their careers.


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