News The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights' Illuminates History: First Song to Surpass 4 Billion Spotify Streams
The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights' Illuminates History: First Song to Surpass 4 Billion Spotify Streams
In a historic milestone, The Weeknd's chart-topping anthem, 'Blinding Lights,' has etched its name in the annals of music history as the first song to surpass a staggering 4 billion streams on Spotify, a confirmation made by a representative for the streaming giant to Variety. The achievement solidifies The Weeknd's status as a global musical force, surpassing even his own record-breaking hit, 'Starboy.'
Triumph Over Time: Overtaking Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You'
Over a year ago, 'Blinding Lights' dethroned Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' as the all-time most-streamed song on Spotify, and since then, it has continued its meteoric rise. The Weeknd boasts another entry in the top 10 with his 2016 hit, 'Starboy,' securing the sixth position with an impressive 2.5 billion streams.
Monetary Brilliance: A Song's Journey to $20 Million on Spotify
What does this monumental achievement translate into? Beyond the accolades, 'Blinding Lights' brings financial brilliance, estimated to generate between $15.5 million and $17.5 million in royalties for the sound recording alone. Adding approximately $4.5 million in publishing, the total earnings for this single track on Spotify range from $20 million to even more. While streaming payment rates vary, with Spotify typically offering between $.003 and $.004 per stream, the colossal numbers underscore the financial impact of having the biggest song on the world's largest paid streaming service.
Collaborative Success: Sharing the Spotlight and the Rewards
The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, doesn't pocket this wealth in solitude. 'Blinding Lights' involved a collaborative effort with four co-writers - Max Martin, Oscar Holter, Ahmad Balshe (aka rapper Belly), and Jason 'DaHeala' Quenneville. Additionally, two co-producers, Martin and Holter, are likely to receive a percentage of the song's success. While the exact breakdown remains confidential, it's evident that The Weeknd shares the financial success with his talented collaborators.
Masterful Ownership: The Weeknd's Dominance in Royalties
The Weeknd's ownership of the master recordings, as indicated by the 'P&C' (copyright) line on the album, places him in a powerful position. Licensing the master recordings to Universal's Republic Records, he secures the lion's share of the substantial royalties generated by 'Blinding Lights.' This strategic ownership structure positions The Weeknd at the forefront of the financial rewards, reinforcing his savvy business acumen in the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry.
Spotify's Unveiling: A Glimpse into Earnings
While streaming services typically keep specific numbers under wraps, Spotify's 'Wrapped' celebration provided a glimpse into the earnings of various artists. Comparisons drawn to Taylor Swift's Spotify earnings, estimated at around $130 million for the year 2023 alone, emphasize the substantial financial impact that streaming platforms can have on an artist's revenue stream. The Weeknd's accomplishment not only marks a historic moment in streaming but also underscores the economic potency of a single song's success on Spotify.
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