Ed Sheeran song surpasses 2bn Spotify streams maintaining status as most-listened to song

'To play the song 2bn times consecutively, you'd have had to start in the stone age: 12,758 BC'

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Tuesday 11 December 2018 12:58
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Spotify has named its most streamed track of all time.

The music subscription service has revealed that Ed Sheeran song “Shape of You” has now surpassed 2bn listens, easily making it the world’s most popular song.

Sheeran himself commented on the feat, writing on Instagram: “Thank you world. First song to two billion streams on Spotify”.

Spotify pays up to $0.0084 per stream to the owner of a respective song's music rights, which is usually split between the songwriter, record label, producer and artist. Taking into account the 2bn listens amassed by "Shape of You", Sheeran's team would have earned approximately $16.8m (that's roughly $8.4 per 1,000 listens).

The British singer’s closest competitor is Canadian rapper Drake, who was recently announced to be the most listened to artist of 2018. His song “One Dance” has been streamed 1.6m with The Chainsmokers song “Closer” following close behind with 1.4m listens.


Sheeran has another song in the top ten. His 2014 ballad “Thinking Out Loud” currently sits at number 5 with 1.2m streams.

This year, Drake’s single “God’s Plan” was the most listened-to with over 1.1bn streams.

Ariana Grande achieved the highest number of streams for a female artist, following the release of her anticipated fourth album Sweetener in August, and the success of her new single “thank u, next” – the video for which broke several records on YouTube.

In the groups category, pop-rock band Imagine Dragons were the most streamed band of the year, followed by K Pop sensations BTS, who recently played a series of sold-out arena shows in the UK. Maroon 5, Migos and Coldplay rounded off the top five.

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