The battle of the video platforms goes two ways however, as we learn today (October 25) that YouTube’s TikTok rival Shorts has bagged the exclusive preview of 14 tracks from Ed Sheeran’s forthcoming album, = (Equals).
The artist is previewing the tracks with accompanying Shorts videos for each one ahead of its official release this Friday, (October 29) via Asylum/Atlantic.
Exclusive short-form video and audio snippet previews of tracks from superstar artists has long been TikTok’s domain, witnessed in September 2020, for example, when David Guetta and Sia, via Warner Music France / Parlophone, premiered a 15 second edit of their single Let’s Love on TikTok – five days ahead of its official release on Friday (September 11).
Sia and Guetta’s TikTok tie-up followed the platform’s exclusive BTS premiere in February 2020, which saw a clip from the K-pop group’s single, ON — taken from their album MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 — debuted 12 hours ahead of the album’s official release.
Sheeran has become one of the Top 10 most-subscribed to artists on YouTube.
To date, he has four videos in the Billion Views Club including Thinking Out Loud, Perfect, Photograph, and the record setting Shape of You, which is the second most viewed music video in YouTube history and the second fastest to reach one billion views.
This year alone, Sheeran’s music has charted in over 45 markets on the platform and over the last 12 months, he has earned over 3.9 billion views globally.
Sheeran’s first two releases off the album, Bad Habits and Shivers, have landed him 15 consecutive weeks at No.1 on Official UK Singles Chart and have also lead him to become the first British Solo Artist to claim 52 weeks at No.1 on the Official UK Singles Chart (only Elvis Presley and The Beatles have achieved more overall weeks at the top).
“I had a really fun day shooting my YouTube Shorts.”
“I had a really fun day shooting my YouTube Shorts,” said Sheeran.
“I’ve always really enjoyed the music video process, so it was fun to explore a new way of doing that by channeling each song’s theme in a unique way, while also giving you a sneak peek of the album.”
“Ed Sheeran is a storyteller and I am so stoked he is using YouTube Shorts to give his fans an audio and visual preview of his incredibly powerful new album.”
Lyor Cohen, YouTube
Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said: “From day one, I knew Ed and his music would have a lasting, global impact and that remains true today.
“Ed Sheeran is a storyteller and I am so stoked he is using YouTube Shorts to give his fans an audio and visual preview of his incredibly powerful new album. This is going to be an unforgettable moment.”
“We are thrilled to see Ed’s collaboration with YouTube come to fruition and to build on Ed’s long-standing relationship with the platform.”
Ed Howard, Atlantic Records UK
Ed Howard, Co-President, Atlantic Records UK, added: “We are thrilled to see Ed’s collaboration with YouTube come to fruition and to build on Ed’s long-standing relationship with the platform.
“The extended Shorts series not only provides us with an innovative way to preview the breadth of the new album sonically, but the short, bespoke films help showcase the narrative of each song in a fun and authentic way. We’re excited to see it ignite his fanbase on a global scale.”
“Ed’s a master at everything he does – whether it’s in the studio, on stage, or in the amazing series of videos he’s made over the past decade.”
Julie Greenwald, Atlantic Records
Chairman/COO of Atlantic Records, Julie Greenwald, said: “Ed’s a master at everything he does – whether it’s in the studio, on stage, or in the amazing series of videos he’s made over the past decade.
“He’s a charismatic storyteller, and YouTube Shorts is a great platform for him to give the world a sneak listen to his brilliant new album.”
Music Business Worldwide