Understanding: why Ed Sheeran did better than Adele in the UK


Duplicated sales + streaming

In fact, a possible situation with streaming is people purchasing an album and then still play it within’ their streaming service. That would bring a double-count of the same person. How much of an impact does this situation brings?

The split of sales per format is key here. As streaming services allow you to download for free songs, it is rather obvious that near nobody will buy digitally the album and then stream it. Similarly, free streaming users are unlikely to consume their online data and be bored with various ads if he got the album downloaded legally. As a consequence, we can directly remove all 173,701 sales from that format among possible double counts.

Such a behavior happens in a collectors logic. People collect the physical copy then stream for convenience purpose. Not many people are collecting CDs nowadays yet. For that matter, the LP is by far the main avenue. Divide sold 13,546 LPs a tremendous figure – more than 2,5 times more than 25 – but still pretty irrelevant in terms of possible double counts. Even if we assume that half of them used streaming to play the album, giving streaming smoothness attributes we ended to highlight those 6,773 persons would contribute in less than 1,000 streaming sales even if they played the album 10 times each.

As a conclusion, while we may be afraid of such a double-count, if it happens the impact is truly irrelevant.

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Ed’s sales are cute tho, real cute.


MJD… This is a little bit off-topic but I need to know your opinion on something. What do you think of Ed Sheeran placing all songs from the same album in the UK official singles Top 20 on the week of release, while the streams of those songs were also counted within the albums chart? Do you think that’s normal/acceptable? Of course, Ed Sheeran is just the best example illustrating that problem… This is happening again with Drake this week and will happen again every time a big acts releases their album from now on, unless the OCC establishes new… Read more »


Sorry for taking so long to reply. It is a tricky issue to address I thought I’d take my time before replying. First I would like to know… What were/are those formulas that you created to factor in streaming? Are these very different from the ones currently used by (for instance) the OCC? I’m very curious to know! You’re right. I didn’t really realize double counting existed, and I didn’t really realize how big of an issue that was until the Ed Sheeran case happened. But now it’s just so obvious that something is wrong… I mean, 3 weeks ago… Read more »

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