The “Thinking Out Loud” singer was named the most-played artist on Spotify earlier this month after being streamed a massive 860 million times this year.
But after Taylor Swift pulled her entire repertoire from Spotify in November because she does not think artists are treated fairly, musicians and fans have been questioning the company.
Sheeran, however, is playing sell-out dates at Wembley Stadium next year and credits Spotify for the opportunity.
“I do not think I would be able to sell out these venues had people not streamed my music. It’s getting it out to people who are learning the songs and wanting to come to the gigs,” the 23-year-old said backstage at the BBC Music Awards.
“I’d much rather tour, that’s why I got into the business, I love playing gigs. Recording for me is a means to an end – I put out records so I can tour, I don’t tour so I can put out records. For me, Spotify helps me do what I want to do.”
Musicians against Spotify
Musicians against Spotify
1/10 Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift does not what her work to be used as an 'experiment' by Spotify and believes that artists are treated unfairly. She withdrew her entire catalogue in November 2014.
2/10 Thom Yorke
The Radiohead frontman famously described Spotify as 'the last desperate fart of a dying corpse' in October 2013.
3/10 David Byrne
David Byrne of Talking Heads wrote about not understanding Spotify's claim of discovery in a Guardian op-ed. 'The inevitable result would seem to be that the internet will suck the creative content out of the whole world until nothing is left,' he said.
Beck dismissed the Spotify model as 'not working' because of how little it pays musicians. He added that the 'saddest thing' about streaming is the poor sound quality - 'It's like watching Citizen Kane on your phone'.
5/10 The Black Keys
Dan Auerbach has described Spotify's payment to artists as 'so minuscule it's laughable'. 'If you are a bigger band that's already known and you rely on record sales for a living then it's really no place to be,' he said.
6/10 Atoms for Peace
Thom Yorke's other band refused to let Spotify stream their songs. Nigel Godrich from the group described the service as 'an equation that just doesn't work'. 'Small labels and new artists can't even keep their lights on. It's just not right,' he said.
7/10 Yannis Philippakis
The Foals singer said he would rather that somebody stole his record on vinyl than bought it or streamed it on Spotify. He described using Spotify as like going to a top class restaurant and leaving only coppers without paying the bill.
8/10 Aimee Mann
The US singer-songwriter has not put her music on Spotify because she does not think artists make a fair amount of money from the streaming service.
9/10 Grizzly Bear
The band tweeted in 2012 that Spotify provides a great service for people but does as much to help bands as 'downloading from Limewire'.
10/10 Jason Isbell
Jason Isbell of Drive-By Truckers has used the single word 'evil' to describe Spotify.
It all comes down to “different strokes for different folks” thinks Sheeran.
“Fair play to Taylor, she said 'I can sell a million in week one if I don’t put my record on Spotify' and she did, and I’m saying 'I can play Wembley if I do put my record on Spotify' and I’m doing that.
“I made my album so that everyone in the world can hear it and I don’t want to restrict it.”
Last month, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl echoed Sheeran's views on Spotify, saying that he "doesn't f**king care" whether fans stream his music or not because he's playing two nights at Wembley next summer.
“You want people to f**king listen to your music? Give them your music and then go play a show,” he said. “They like hearing your music? They'll go see a show.
"To me it's that simple and I think it used to work that way. The delivery was completely face to face personal. That's what got people really excited about s**t.”Reuse content