Ed Sheeran’s Divide has already generated over $5m on Spotify

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Tracks from Ed Sheeran’s blockbuster third album Divide have already generated over $5million for the singer/songwriter and his music business partners – with lead single Shape of You topping half a billion plays just two months after release.

MBW has calculated the figure using an approximate blended per-stream average which Spotify is understood to pay across recorded music and publishing/songwriting rights.

The money will have been divided between Sheeran, his record label (Warner/Atlantic), his publisher (Sony/ATV), and his co-writers (and their publishers) – plus anyone else with royalty ‘points’ on his tracks.


Here’s how we got there.

According to Spotify monitoring site Kworb.net, up until yesterday (March 14) all 16 tracks from Divide had been cumulatively streamed a total of 1,183,650,387 (1.18bn) times.

Back in 2013, Spotify revealed an approximate per-stream payout to the music industry of $0.007 blended across its paid and free tiers.

However, the company has since removed this stat from its Spotify Artists site – no doubt because, as its audience has grown, this per-stream figure has shrunk a little.

Industry pundits tell MBW that a fairer per-stream estimate these days would be $0.005.

Using Spotify’s 2013 $0.007 per-stream calculation, Divide has earned grand total of $8.29m.

Yet going off a $0.005 average, the figure comes out a little less rich, at $5.92m.

(Even these stats won’t reflect the true money-spinning might of Divide: Kworb only monitors ‘chart eligible’ Spotify stream tallies, where a user’s daily spin-count of a single track is capped to avoid the chance of anyone gaming the system. So those playing Sheeran’s tunes from morning to night might be making him even more.)


With an astonishing 509.7m plays to date, Shape of You is the most-played song from Divide (no surprise, as it was released as a single back on January 6) – meaning it has generated somewhere close to $3m so far.

The track, which is currently clocking up over 7.5m streams a day, remains the biggest song on Spotify across the world right now.

(The above figures don’t take into account alternative versions of Shape Of You, featuring the likes of Stormzy, Major Lazer and Galantis – nor acoustic versions by Sheeran.)

On the first day of its release, Divide’s tracks drew 56.73m streams on Spotify worldwide – a new record for first-day plays of an LP on the platform.

That total playcount number has since grown by more than a billion spins.

The worldwide combined sales of Divide, across physical and digital (and presumably taking in streaming-equivalents), reached over 4m after ten days on sale, according to Warner Music.

Check out our track-by-track guide to Divide’s streaming numbers and payout figures (up to March 14) below.


  • Castle on the Hill –  237,654,602 streams: ($0.005 = $1,188,273) ($0.007 = $1,663,582)
  • Eraser –  25,264,210 streams: ($0.005 = $126,321); ($0.007 = $176,849)
  • Dive – 33,937,439 streams – ($0.005 = $169,687);  ($0.007 = $237,562)
  • Shape of You – 509,728,938 streams: ($0.005 = $2,548,645) ($0.007 = $3,568,103)
  • Perfect –  38,159,641 streams: ($0.005 = $190,798) ($0.007 = $267,117)
  • Galway Girl – 51,997,412 streams: ($0.005 = $259,987) ($0.007 = $363,982)
  • Happier – 36,037,419 streams: ($0.005 = $180,187) ($0.007 = $252,262)
  • New Man – 32,797,607 streams: ($0.005 = $163,988) ($0.007 = $229,583)
  • Hearts Don’t Break Around Here – 24,669,113 streams: ($0.005 = $123,346)  ($0.007: $172,684)
  • What Do I Know? – 30,797,897 streams: ($0.005: $153,989) ($0.007: $215,585)
  • How Would You Feel (Paean) – 45,569,716 streams: ($0.005: $227,849) ($0.007: $318,988)
  • Supermarket Flowers – 26,027,401 streams: ($0.005: $130,137) ($0.007: $182,192)
  • Barcelona – 25,976,326 streams:  ($0.005: $129,882) ($0.007: $181,834)
  • Bibia Be Ye Ye – 21,258,343 streams: ($0.005: $106,292) ($0.007: $148,808)
  • Nancy Mulligan – 23,845,399 streams: ($0.005: $119,227) ($0.007: $166,918)
  • Save Myself – 19,928,924 streams: ($0.005: $99,645) ($0.007: $139,502)
  • TOTAL: 1,183,650,387 streams ($0.005 = $5.92m) ($0.007 = $8.29m)

Music Business Worldwide

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  • lazy2010

    proof of how basic and bland music taste are

    • leeum

      Who the f*** are you to label tastes as basic and bland! How is it proof if it’s only your OPINION. Proof of how narrow minded you are, more like.

  • Mad Jack

    so one artist does the digital deal to properly generate and collect the revenue. what about all the other artists that didn’t negotiate a “spotify” deal? sorry, still not buying into this thieving company and it’s business model.