The Beatles have reached a new milestone: one of their most well-known songs has amassed more than 1 billion Spotify streams, making it the first song by the band to do so.
“Here Comes the Sun,” a George Harrison-penned track from the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, on Tuesday became the 406th track to join Spotify’s Billions Club. Seven years ago, Drake became the first artist to have a song reach one billion plays on Spotify with his smash “One Dance,” from the 2016 album “Views.”
As the streaming service has grown, songs can generate huge streaming numbers quickly. Last week, Miley Cyrus’ song “Flowers,” released in January, became the fastest song to reach 1 billion streams in Spotify history.
Why did it take so long for The Beatles to have a song surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify?
For starters, the Beatles were among the holdouts when it came to online distribution of music, not making the band’s music available on iTunes until 2010. The Beatles’ studio albums landed on Spotify and other streaming services on Dec. 24, 2015.
The ages of the artist, the music and the listener can come into play, too. Many older music lovers still listen to compact discs, albums and other recorded formats. And younger listeners, while they may like The Beatles, are also drawn to artists such as The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Beyoncé and others.
“Here Comes the Sun” is not only the first Beatles’ song to hit a billion, “it’s also the first from the ’60s,” Vieira said, though it could be joined by others soon.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the 1967 single from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “will get there in less than 10 days, while ‘Fortunate Son’ (from Creedence Clearwater Revival) will be the third by mid-June.”
There are no songs from the ’50s with more than 750 million Spotify streams, while there are several from ’70s and ’80s, he said. CCR does have one song in the 1 Billion Club: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” which appeared on the 1970 album “Pendulum” and was released as a single in 1971. It joined the club in March 2023.
Of all the Beatles’ songs, why does ‘Here Comes the Sun’ get the most streams?
The song has been highly ranked for years, even back when downloads were the main method of digital distribution, Vieira said. “And this song has the advantage of perfectly fitting into feel good/positive vibes’ playlists, which have a high replay value,” he said. ” It’s also shorter than the ones it competed with on iTunes like ‘Come Together’ and ‘Let It Be’.”
Those two Beatles songs will likely surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify eventually, Vieira said, with “Come Together likely to hit that mark by early 2027, with “Let It Be” joining it later that year, too.
How much money did ‘Here Comes the Sun’ generate on Spotify?
Music distribution company Ditto Music, headquartered in Liverpool and New York, estimates that “Here Comes The Sun” has generated about $4.37 million from 1 billion Spotify streams, based on U.S. streaming rates. (Royalty rates can vary depending on which country the streams came from.)
Spotify pays artists between $0.003 – $0.005 per stream on average, Ditto Music estimates. That comes out to about $4,000 per 1 million streams. Spotify typically gets 30% of the revenue with 70% going to the song’s rights holders – such as the publisher, songwriter and master recording owners – Ditto Music told USA TODAY.
Other streaming services pay more per stream, so the song may not have hit 1 billion on Apple Music or Tidal, but the song could be generating a similar amount of revenue, according to Ditto Music.