Forget BRIT Awards, Grammys, number one records or even the coveted Christmas chart topper. The Holy Grail for all musicians is a popular Crimbo song that sells well – year after year after blessed year. Some artists have joked these songs keep their kids in school and fancy cars in their garage. For others at the very lucrative top of the twinkly tree it’s a whole other gift that keeps giving, with revenues racking up the millions. Everyone always thinks Mariah is the Queen of Christmas, but there are other classic songs that have been going for far longer – and one contemporary artist who actually rakes in more than Mimi.
Their songs blast out across high streets, supermarkets and airwaves, and soundtrack our films and TV shows. We could all recite the chorus of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas backwards, in our sleep. Yet, he doesn’t even make the usual top ten of earners when you factor in the new world of digital streams. A new report has counted the billions of streams on Spotify and how much money they make – and it’s all change at the top.
The most popular song has made almost £3million so far from Spotify alone, but another top artist has banked a bumper £7million, making his album the top Christmas earner.
As you can see below, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You has banked almost £3million so far and George Michael’s estate will benefit from his share of Wham’s Last Christmas £2.1million. Bearing in mind that each Spotify stream of a song only generates £0.0028, that’s less than one pence, it shows how many streams you need to make any money. According to the new report from CasinoBee Mariah’s hit, for example, has been streamed 1,007,095,690 times and counting.
Because this is a global list, there are some notable British classics missing from the Top 10. Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime is at number 17, earning £742,207, followed by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York at number 19 with £678,175. It seems younger streaming audiences are not such fans of the usual classics with Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody at number 35 on £225,011 and Wizzard at 36, earning £212,660.
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The reason Mariah has lost her Christmas crown is because Michael Bublé actually has three songs in the Top 40, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Holly Jolly Christmas and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. These three combined have earned £2,833,203 but the Crimbo crooner’s songs from his Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition) have made a sensational £7,013,775 altogether so far.
Of course, this is just Spotify. When you factor in revenue from every other streaming services, regular record buying, payments for radio plays and licencing fees to TV and film, the figures are enough to make Santa consider a change of career. The most recent research by Channel 4 looked at annual revenues and found that Slade actually rakes in £1million every year.
So who is looking to cash in this CHristmas? This week has smashed seasonal records with a whopping 24 seasonal songs in the Top 40. Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s Merry Christmas is currently enjoying its second week at number one on the Official Singles Chart today, and its biggest challenger looks set to be a rework of LadBaby’s Sausage Rolls For Everyone – which actually features both Ed and Elton, meaning the pair double their chart-topping chances.
Wham! is at number three with Last Christmas, Mariah Carey close behind with All I Want For Christmas at number four, Shakin’ Stevens at six, The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl at seven and Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree rising to number eight.