News March 13, 2017

Ed Sheeran shatters chart records in Australia, NZ & UK

Ed Sheeran shatters chart records in Australia, NZ & UK

Ed Sheeran has shattered the singles charts records in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom with his new ÷ (Divide) album. He also set a new global record for streaming.

In addition, Sheeran has become the fastest selling male artist of all time in the UK where ÷ well and truly eclipsed original predictions for first week sales.

In Australia, 16 of the album’s tracks entered the ARIA Top 40, as Shape of You hung in at top spot for a ninth week and Castle On The Hill at second spot.

Dive was at #5, Perfect at #6, Galway Girl at #10, How Would You Feel (Paean) at #13, Happier at #16, Supermarket Flowers at #19, New Man at #20, What Do I Know? at #24, Eraser at #31, Heart Don’t Break Around Here at #32, Barcelona at #36, Nancy Mulligan at #37, Save Myself at #38, and Bibia Be Ye Ye at #39.

ARIA said, “With 16 songs charting simultaneously in the Top 40, Sheeran sets a new ARIA Charts milestone with the most ever by a single artist. Also, no living act has had more than 14 singles in the top 100 at any given time – Ed has 18 this week.”

In the Albums Top 5, ÷ was at #1, and his former Australian chart toppers X at #3 and + at #4. Adele meanwhile occupied #2 with 25 and #4 with 21.

Of Streaming Singles, Shape Of You, Castle On The Hill and Galaxy Girl occupied the Top 3, while Drive came in at #5.

In New Zealand, the English singer-songwriter has become the first act to have every song on an album in the Top 40.

Unlike in Australia, though, Sheeran didn’t have the #1 album and single. Shape Of You dropped from #1 after nine weeks, dislodged by Lorde’s new single Green Light.

Recorded Music NZ chart compiler Paul Kennedy observed, “It’s a phenomenon of the new age in music availability, and streaming in particular, that this sort of chart dominance is even possible – but it’s also a reflection of the extent to which Ed Sheeran’s music resonates with the New Zealand public that he’s able to rule the chart quite so convincingly.”

In the UK, ÷ blasted revised first week sales expectations of 500,00 with 671,542 units, and was certified double platinum. It outsold the entire Top 500 together.

Its 16 tracks flew into the Top 20. No other artist has come close to achieving this. No other act has occupied the entire Top 5 single chart, either.

That made him the fastest selling male artist of all time (easily eclipsing Robbie Williams Intensive Care 373, 832) and third biggest first week male seller. Adele’s 25 had 803,000 in 2015) and Oasis’ Be Here Now with 696,000 in 1997.

The album’s UK sales were split into 62% physical, 26% downloads and streaming equivalent sales of 12%. The streaming figure was the highest first-week streaming sales for an album, overtaking the record set by Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer the previous week.

It also became the biggest first week vinyl seller in over 20 years.

The furore around ÷ has also dragged Sheeran’s two previous albums back into the Top 5. With additional sales of 24,054, X returned to #4 and inched it closer to the 3 million mark. At #5 spot is + courtesy of an extra 17,898 sales.

In addition, Sheeran made history in the singles chart. Six of the album’s tracks are in the Top 6 spots. The other 13 are in the Top 20. Shape of You, which has been #1 since its release in January, sold an extra 140,647 units last week, bringing it to a total of 1,450,923.

Castle On The Hill held on at #3 with Perfect and New Man entering at #4 and #5.

Sheeran commented: “Wow! What a phenomenal week. To every person who’s bought the album – thank you. I’m buzzing!”

He added, “I never expected to have nine songs in the Top 10 ever in my life. I don’t know if something has gone wrong, but I’m definitely very happy about it.”

Globally, ÷ is at #1 on iTunes in 97 countries. It also entered at #1 in the official charts of Norway and Sweden, where it also set new streaming records.

The 25-year-old singer-songwriter set a new global streaming milestone of 283 million ÷ album streams, beating The Weeknd’s 223 million. In the UK alone, ÷ broke the 74 million mark, easily breaking the 20.5 million set in that country by Justin Bieber’s Purpose in November 2015.

“It’s fair to say Ed Sheeran nearly broke Spotify this week,” a Spotify spokesperson said.

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