Ed Sheeran Literally Broke The Charts
  • MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2017

  • Posted by: Caroline Bojarski

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard Ed Sheeran's "Shape Of You", I could afford to book a flight to Galway to see what's so special about the girls there that I need to hear about them every time I'm in a clothing store, bar, or restaurant. Coming from someone who doesn't own a car or ever voluntarily listen to the radio, this is a true testament to how, like it or not, you truly can't escape certain songs. Constant radio plays, as well as physical and digital sales and streaming frequency land these songs at the top of charts such as the U.S.'s Billboard Hot 100 and the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart.


In case you need to hear it one more time...

You're probably wondering who is still playing "Shape Of You" when they have quite literally every other song at their fingertips, none of which center on the line "I'm in love with your body". (C'mon Ed, it's 2017. You couldn't think of anything more substantial to love about her?) You aren't alone. The people at Official Charts Company have been wondering the same thing in a way.

Ed Sheeran's latest album, ÷, has inspired changes in the way the British company will be compiling its top 100 list from July 7th on. Streaming has been a popular method of listening to music for years now and is tracked by Official Charts Company and considered alongside physical and digital sales to decide which singles make the top 40 and 100 lists, based on popularity.

Irish heartthrob, Ed Sheeran, has millions of devoted fans, and many of them streamed ÷ in its entirety upon its release. This meant that every song on the album received a boost in chart rankings through sheer volume of streams. Meanwhile, newer artists like Dua Lipa who have yet to accumulate such a fan base only enjoy the same streaming popularity for their hit singles. To promote new artists and, I suspect, because they too had heard a certain redhead sing about his aesthetic preferences one too many times, the people at Official Charts Company will limit individual artists to three songs each on the top 100 singles chart, starting July 7.

In addition, only songs officially released as singles will be eligible for a spot on the Official Charts. This change is a response to how, in March of this year, the singles from ÷, backed by an army of Ed Sheeran 'deep cuts' nearly pulled off a complete takeover of the chart's top ten spots. Only Coldplay and The Chainsmoker's "Something Just Like This" stood in the way of Ed Sheeran's crooning top 10 domination, which is the best thing I can honestly say about this overplayed compilation.

The three song limit and exclusion of non-singles from chart consideration are the most major revisions caused by Ed's loop heavy pop ballads. The changes could be a silver lining to compensate for every time those first annoying calypso beats put my ears on alert for a quip about finding love in a bar. Estimates suggest the number of artists on the charts will increase by up to 20% as a result, meaning certain artists (*cough cough) will finally have to move over. While I don't think this is the first step towards a future where no one ever says "This song again???", it should at least sprinkle a greater variety of artists in with the token overplayed tracks.
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