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Ed Sheeran: I don’t understand streaming

Published 30/10/2015

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran didn’t set up his record label to make money, he just wants to “hear some cool music on the radio”.

British singer Ed Sheeran never streams music, despite being one of the most popular artists on apps like Spotify.

The 24 year old has achieved huge success in an era where music has become more popular online than in physical album sales. While Ed manages to do well in both fields, he likes to keep things old school when it comes to the way he buys and listens to music.

“I don’t stream anything ever,” he confessed to Billboard. “I don’t even really get it. I buy everything off iTunes or physically.”

Despite his apparent lack of knowledge about streaming music, Ed does know that his own songs do extremely well in that medium and as a consequence, increases his chances of performing to sell out arenas and stadiums.

“If my album is streamed by 2 billion people, which it was, you have maybe a billion that might check it out more online, and like 300,000 people that might buy a ticket,” he explained. “If 300,000 people buy a ticket in one country at 80 dollars a pop, that’s more money than you would ever make off any album or streaming or anything.”

Writing hits such as Thinking Out Loud, The A Team and Lego House has helped make the star a rich man but that doesn’t mean Ed is resting on his laurels. Being financially free has allowed him to set up his own label Gingerbread Man Records and sign new artists of his own.

“Without sounding weird, I don’t need the money,” he said of the venture. “It’s just me wanting to hear some cool music on the radio.”

For Ed, discovering new songs he hasn’t heard before is one of his biggest joys. But because of his anti-streaming approach, it does mean he sometimes takes a while to discover tracks by popular artists everyone else already knows about.

“I’ve never listened to a Radiohead album, to be honest,” he admitted. “I didn’t hear a Bruce Springsteen song until like two years ago, and now I f**king love Springsteen. I didn’t hear Michael Jackson songs till I was 14. I like discovering things on my own. I want to have that moment of ‘holy s**t,’ the moment of the epiphany.”

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