The connection between pirating of music and live music revenues for an artist was the subject of an interesting academic paper a couple years back.
Interesting to see a major artist (Ed Sheeran) now presenting the conclusions of this thesis as a viable business model. From what I understand Sheeran is on Atlantic & therefore very likely to have a 360 deal (label takes a share of all revenues, including ticket sales), where all stakeholders are aligned around this approach (manager, agent, label).
Ed Sheeran, the UK artist who currently holds the distinction of having the most BitTorrented song in that country, is sanguine about pirated songs.
“I sell a lot of tickets. I’ve sold 1.2 million albums and there’s eight million downloads as well, illegally," Sheeran told BBC’s Newsbeat earlier this week. "So nine million people have my record in England, which is quite a nice feeling. You get people who actually want to listen to your songs and come to an event like this in London, who wouldn’t necessarily buy the album.
"You can live off your sales and you can allow people to illegally download it and come to your gigs. My gig tickets are £18 and my album is £8, so it’s all relative,” Sheeran added.