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Spotify works for me, says hitman Ed

Award-winning Ed Sheeran has supported the levels of payments made to artists by streaming service Spotify and pointed the finger at record labels for poor returns.

His views contrast with some other acts, including his friend Taylor Swift, who have been critical of royalty figures which gives a fee for each play.

Swift famously withdrew her entire back catalogue from Spotify ahead of the release of her latest album 1989, which had the effect of driving sales rather than diluting them through plays on the subscription service.

Sheeran has found a global audience through the service and was Spotify's most played artist of the year, accessed 860 million times.

He said: "I think Spotify are paying the right amount.

"We're just not seeing it, because the labels aren't making as much as they used to, so they want to keep a lot of the money that Spotify give them, and not pay it out to us."


Sheeran said streaming had helped him to establish his career and allowed him to sell out tours.

The star said there were no heated discussions with Swift, who has criticised Spotify payments which are said to amount to around £0.0045 per play.

"Fair play to her," said Sheeran. "She has something she believes in. She's saying she can sell a million in week one if she doesn't put her music on Spotify, and I'm saying I can play Wembley if I do.

"U2 can put their whole album on iTunes and that works for them. Taylor can sell records regardless of Spotify," Sheeran continued.

"She has been around for eight or nine years. She comes from an era where you do sell records - it's only been in the past five years where it's really deteriorated. She has made her name so people buy her records and it doesn't feel too foreign.

"Whereas I came through in the streaming generation. All my fans started off being students at university file-sharing my music, so it's a different."