Ed Sheeran and Eminem now have something in common. Apart from being human males in the music business, both artists have reached two billion streams on Spotify, the music service that claims 60 million users. For the 24 year-old British singer/songwriter who has just two LPs under his belt, it’s more than just another statistic. While his friend Taylor Swift has publicly removed her music from the streaming service, Sheeran is taking Spotify straight to the bank.
“I’m playing sold-out gigs in South America, I’ve sold out arenas in Korea and south-east Asia,” Sheeran said at the BBC Music Awards last year. “I don’t think I’d be able to do that without Spotify. For me, Spotify is not even a necessary evil. It helps me do what I want to do.”
Since breaking out in 2012 after the success of his debut record +, Sheeran has opened for Taylor Swift, performed with Elton John at the Grammys, won British Album of the Year, and toured the globe. It’s certainly a dream come true for a kid who was doing open mics in LA in 2010.
Passing the music streaming landmark comes after Sheeran took the title of most-played artist on Spotify in 2014. Spotify users accounted for 860 million streams for Sheeran last year. His sophomore album, x, released was a big part of that success, accounting for half of last year’s streams at 430 million.
American audiences have helped the boyish heartthrob reach the two billion mark, indicated by the fact that Sheeran has sold out most of his North American summer 2015 stadium tour. He has since announced more fall North American stops. Also on the horizon for Sheeran is a performance at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards alongside Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Meghan Trainor.