Ed Sheeran’s new album ÷ has only been out for one day, but already it is making history.
On Friday, the day the singer-songwriter’s third full-length was made available in stores and on streaming platforms, the title not only broke, but completely demolished a number of important streaming records. According to Spotify, Ed Sheeran is now in control of a few high-profile records, and with numbers as enormous as his, these milestones may not be met again for some time.
÷ (spoken aloud “divide”) now hold the record for the album with the most plays in a single day on Spotify, the world’s most popular on-demand streaming platform. The 16 tracks featured on the title racked up an incredible 56.73 million plays on Friday, March 3 alone. That topples the previous best, which was set when The Weeknd’s Starboy was released late in 2016, by an enormous margin. At the time, Starboy set the record by having its songs spun 29 million times in a single day, which was quite the accomplishment even just a few months ago.
Sheeran’s latest also helped him become the artist with the greatest number of plays of all of his music in a 24-hour period. Millions of fans headed to his page on the Swedish streaming platform to listen to his new record, but while they were there, many of them also opted to listen once again to his back catalog (or replay his new material over and over). The British pop star’s entire musical output was played 68.7 million times on Friday, which is far ahead of the previous best, which was just 40.3 million, and which was also once set by The Weeknd.
As if that wasn’t enough, Sheeran also shattered his own record for the most streams in a single day for one song. His worldwide hit “Shape Of You” was streamed 10.12 million times on Friday, which topples the previous high point he set in January when the song was still new. He went on to break his own record as well, so he now holds the top three slots when it comes to the most plays for one song in a single day on Spotify. That many streams in just one day all but certifies another week on top of the Hot 100, where “Shape Of You” has now been in charge for five nonconsecutive weeks.
All of these massive, industry-shaking numbers suggest that Sheeran’s new album is on track for one of the grandest opening weeks the world has seen in some time, and that ÷ will likely break plenty more records before its first full frame is up.