You can call it a comeback. After a year of radio silence and a Twitter hiatus, Ed Sheeran’s two new tracks have dethroned One Direction for the long-held global one day streaming record.

‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’, released last Thursday and announced via – you guessed it, Twitter – were streamed 6,868,642 and 6,168,395 times, respectively. That’s 13 million plays in 24 hours on Spotify alone, or about half-a-million listens each hour.

Sheeran smashed One Direction’s previous record, ‘Drag Me Down’, which clocked up 4,759,698 streams in one day on July 31, 2015. One Direction had taken the title from Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’, which received 4.26 million streams on April 17, 2015.

As of Tuesday morning, ‘Shape of You’ (penned with Johnny McDaid and Steve Mac) has been streamed 23,837,922 times and ‘Castle on the Hill’ (written with Benny Blanco) had 18,147, 701 streams.

While we’re just stoked One Direction is finally being phased out of Spotify’s streaming records, Sheeran’s healthy lead on the polarising pop group is only reflective of streaming’s growing popularity. ARIA’s 2015 wholesale revenue figures showed the 5% jump in total revenues to $334 million was driven by streaming revenue almost doubling to $71.1 million.

It’s also not the first time Sheeran has inspired Spotify to send out a global press release in his honour. ‘Thinking Out Loud’ became the first song on the platform to hit 500 million streams in October 2015.

Both ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’ will appear on Sheeran’s upcoming LP ÷, (pronounced “divide”), with Warner Music yet to announce a release date.

Write a Letter to the Editor