The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ becomes 1st song to pass 4 billion streams on Spotify

January 13, 2024
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The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ has become the first song to pass the 4 billion stream mark on Spotify.

 Singer-songwriter The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ has become the first song to pass the 4 billion stream mark on Spotify.

The song passed Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ as the all-time most-streamed song on the service just over a year ago, and it is one of two Weeknd songs in the top 10: his 2016 song ‘Starboy’ is at Number 6, with nearly 2.5 billion streams, reports Variety.

So, what does all of that mean? Between $15.5 million and $17.5 million in royalties for the sound recording, with another $4.5 million or so in publishing, depending on which figures (and which online royalty calculators) one uses. While some services pay more than others and calculations vary widely, Spotify generally pays between $.003 and $.004 per stream.

As per Variety, that’s $20 million-plus for one song on one streaming service (albeit the biggest song on the world’s biggest paid streaming service). Does The Weeknd pocket all that money himself? Of course not: He was joined by four co-writers on the song — Max Martin, Oscar Holter, Ahmad Balshe and Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville, who each get a share known only to insiders, and two co-producers in Martin and Holter, who presumably receive “points” (a percentage) on the song as well.

It’s possible that others may get a small percentage. Judging by the copyright line on the album, the Weeknd owns the master recordings and licences them to Universal’s Republic Records, which means he collects the lion’s share of those royalties.

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