Ed Sheeran, what a legend! For the last few decades, the music industry has followed a particular format of releasing and distributing music – the unwritten rule book for the commercialisation of music.
For years, record companies seeking to promote artists would sample radio with pre-selected music, choosing one song “the single” from the artist’s repertoire to take to radio at a time. This not only preempted the product’s success, but created a consensus across marketing platforms on what music was to be played.
Of course, the development of technology and the ability to record and distribute music digitally revolutionised the music industry, introducing YouTube sensations which provided instantaneous global success. People were now able to discover music directly online, according to their particular preferences. That being said, radio and record companies continued to operate as they had before.
It was only time before someone with enough stature came along and disrupted that cycle.
On 6 January 2017, Ed Sheeran returned – after a short hiatus – with a new album, releasing not one but two new songs to radio at a time. A brave and revolutionary approach, albeit successful.
Equally powerful tracks, radio without hesitation playlisted both songs. Whether this trend will carry on into the future, is unknown at this point, but it’s certainly a indication of the changing nature of the music business.
Castle on the Hill
Shape of You