Ed Sheeran to reach 'new fans' on streaming platforms with multi-genre collaborations

Ed Sheeran to reach 'new fans' on streaming platforms with multi-genre collaborations

Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project album (Atlantic/Asylum) is already making a big impact on digital platforms, hitting the No.1 position upon release in global iTunes stores and Apple Music charts.

Retailers aren’t expecting the album to have as big an opening as Sheeran’s blockbuster ÷ in 2017, which still has a major chart presence more than two years later. But it could be a huge record on DSPs, thanks to Sheeran’s collaborations with streaming-friendly artists such as Khalid, Stormzy and Justin Bieber. 

Tracks from the album have already seen Sheeran dominate the UK singles chart.

Sheeran’s team, including manager Stuart Camp and label president Ben Cook, have already spoken to Music Week about their ambitions for the album. Here, Nigel Harding, VP of artist marketing at Deezer, discusses the streaming potential of Sheeran’s new long-player…

How big will No.6 Collaborations be on streaming, given it has so many collaborators and genres?

“Ed Sheeran is consistently one of Deezer’s Top 10 most-streamed artists globally, so interest in this new album will inevitably be enormous. While the range of genres may surprise some listeners, the tracks all share Ed’s hallmark songwriting style and will sit comfortably in the biggest playlists. His collaborations with numerous artists will only broaden his appeal to new fans around the world.”

Do you envision it being routinely listened to in full, or is it one that's going to be consumed via playlists?

“Clearly the die-hard Ed fans will consume the album in full, but given that the album feels like a collection of individual songs rather than a body of work, I expect much of the listening will be playlist-driven. The fact that almost all of the tracks sound like singles means the scope for playlist additions is huge. At Deezer, we are planning to include Ed’s tracks in various playlists such as Hits of the Moment, Going Global and Today’s Best Ballads.”

Sheeran is avoiding a media blitz for this album, how does that affect the streaming campaign?

“Even though Ed’s not actively promoting on release, we still plan on presenting the new album to his fans in a unique and engaging way. Deezer has worked with Ed on an exclusive Popstar Playlist, featuring his favourite tracks by each collaborator on the album.”

Will it become a streaming perennial like ÷?

“Ultimately, Ed Sheeran is a great singer/songwriter with a massive global following. These new tracks are a fine addition to his canon and will undoubtedly have a long life in streaming alongside his existing material.”

To read Music Week’s interviews with Stuart Camp and Ben Cook, subscribers can click here.

To read our cover feature with Sheeran and his team, click here.

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