Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You has cemented itself as a modern Christmas classic.
The 1994 single smashed Spotify's single-day record with nearly 11 million streams on December 24. The track broke the record held by the late rapper XXXTentacion, whose track Sad! drew 10,415,088 streams on June 19, the day after he died in a Florida shooting.
Carey’s success underscores the enduring appeal of Christmas-themed singles, which unlike its pop counterparts, is not bound by the creative pursuit to sound current.
The power of a good Christmas tune
Instead, if done well, a great Christmas single can usually be a steady earner for the artist and songwriter throughout the decades.
Take Bing Crosby's White Christmas for example; recorded in 1942, it remains the best-selling single of all time with over 50 million copies sold.
In Carey's case, ever since All I Want for Christmas Is You's initial release 14 years ago, the track went on to reportedly sell over 16 million copies and earning up to $60 million dollars in royalties.
However, the advent of online streaming in the last few years, and the drying up of physical album sales, has radically altered the profit margin artists make from popular singles.
So how much did she actually earn?
The seven figure streaming numbers of Carey may look impressive, but the money received is paltry in comparison to the good old days of CDs sales.
With Spotify’s streaming rates reportedly only going as high as $0.00084 per stream, Carey would have pocketed as much as $92,400 (Dh339,339) for her efforts. And that’s before splitting the earnings; a sizable portion of that money will undoubtedly flow to the track’s co-writer, the Brazilian American composer Walter Afanasieff, not to mention the record company as well.
The left-over cash would barely cover the $35,000 monthly rent (Dh128,537) Carey pays for her Mediterranean styled mansion in Beverly Hills.
It is no wonder, then, that Carey barely acknowledged this year’s Christmas success and posted only a short emoji-laden tweet in response.
Here are other tracks that joins All I Want for Christmas Is You in selling over 15 million copies.
50 million: White Christmas by Bing Crosby
33 million: Candle in the Wind 1997 by Elton John
25 million: Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets
20 million: I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
18 million: My Heart will Go On by Celine Dion