The records just keep tumbling for Ed Sheeran! At the very start of the year he was named as the most streamed artist of 2014, and now he’s achieved another landmark.

Spotify have announced that he is the first British artist to reach two billion streams, and only the second to do so in the streaming service’s history behind Eminem. That’s only on the back of two studio albums, however, whereas the American rapper has released eight. The company also announced that his track ‘Thinking Out Loud’ is the most streamed song in the United States.

Ed SheeranEd Sheeran is the first British artist to reach 2 billion Spotify streams

Atlantic Records UK general manager Mark Mitchell spoke about Sheeran’s achievement, saying: “Ed achieving two billion streams on just two albums is a phenomenal achievement. It not only highlights the popularity of his timeless sound and the explosive growth of his army of fans, it also demonstrates how great music can be successful on all formats.”

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Spotify’s Kevin Brown, the head of label relations for Europe, added: “Breaking the two billion streams barrier on Spotify is evidence - were it needed - of Ed Sheeran’s enormous popularity among the 60 million music fans on the service.”

In contrast to the increasing number of major artists criticising Spotify for eroding their revenue, 24 year old Sheeran has intimated that he owes his career to it. “For me, Spotify is not even a necessary evil. It helps me do what I want to do,” he said at the BBC Music Awards last year. “I'm playing sold-out gigs in South America, I've sold out arenas in Korea and south-east Asia. I don't think I'd be able to do that without Spotify.”

His friend and sometime collaborator Taylor Swift removed her back catalogue from the service a week ahead of the release of 1989 last November, saying she was “not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music”. The album shifted just shy of 1.3 million in its first week, the highest debut week sales since 2002.

Speaking about that, Sheeran said: “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.”

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