Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is unflustered by the mass piracy of his debut LP despite it being illegally downloaded eight times for every legitimate purchase.
The BBC has flagged up words from Sheeran at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend in June, when the singer seemed clued in to the extent of music piracy but equally at ease with it when it came to his own album sales.
"I sell a lot of tickets," said Sheeran after his performance at the event.
"I've sold 1.2 million albums, and the stat is that there's 8 million downloads of that as well illegally.
"Nine million people have my record, in England, which is quite a nice feeling,” he added.
"I'm still selling albums, but I'm selling tickets at the same time. My gig tickets are like £18, and my albums £8, so ... it's all relative."
Also in June, Sheeran emphasised being at ease with illegal downloaders by tweeting, “eternal love for anyone that owns a copy of '+', however you got hold of it, legal or illegal, thank you for enjoying it.”
The quotes have come to light as a new file-sharing report has today named Ed Sheeran as the most downloaded artist across 459 UK cities in H1 2012, the singer-songwriter is at peace with the 8 million people who have illegally obtained his album.
Musicmetric’s inaugural Digital Music Index puts Sheeran’s + in the No.1 spot on a table of the Top 20 albums downloaded in the UK over the period
Musicmetric estimated that 345 million individual tracks made up torrent files downloaded over the period studied. Speaking to the BBC following the publication of the Digital Media index, the BPI’s Geoff Taylor said, "According to their data, there are more illegal downloads in the UK still than there are legal purchases," the BPI's chief executive Geoff Taylor told the BBC.
"[It] compares to about 240 million tracks that were sold legally. A lot of people are getting very rich from stealing other people's things.
"That's wrong, and we think that musicians deserve to be paid for what they do, just like everyone else."