Mariah Carey has earned $60 million in streaming royalties from timeless Christmas classic

Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal highlights how holiday queen Mariah Carey earned a whopping $60 million in streaming royalties for her classic Christmas hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

Video transcript

- Whether you like it or not, one song that you're no doubt hearing on a nearly endless loop, excuse me, is Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You. Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal explains how the pop star has turned the Christmas classic into a holiday season cash cow.


ALEXANDRA CANAL: Five-time Grammy winner, Mariah Carey, has been dubbed the unofficial Queen of Christmas. Thanks to her hit song, All I Want for Christmas is You. In this week's Fame and Fortune, we're diving deeper into the famous holiday tune and how it's quite literally the gift that keeps on giving. The song first hit the airwaves in 1994, but it took a whopping 25 years before the track finally reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list.

The song climbed back to that top spot again in December 2020. What remained for five weeks. A new record among the holiday hits. Fast forward to today, and that momentum does not seem to be slowing down. According to music analytics platform Chart Metric, All I Want for Christmas has continuously surged in popularity, both post-Halloween and post-Thanksgiving, with peaks right around New Year's Eve.

So far, the song has over 975 million streams on Spotify, with a trajectory to cross 1 billion by the new year. And then, there's those royalties. According to MRC data, Mariah Carey earns at least one cent every time the song plays. In 2019, she made an estimated 1.7 million from streams alone. In 2020, well that number grew to 1.9 million. The pop star is projected to make even more this year as the streaming revolution continues.

In total, Mariah has pocketed a reported 60 million plus in passive streaming income over the years. And that doesn't even include extra cash through album sales, downloads, licensing, and other types of royalties. It's a cultural phenomenon, too. As the song has inspired a children's book, animated film, Amazon Music documentary, and lucrative brand deals.

In November, McDonald's announced a limited time Mariah menu for the holidays. A first for the fast food giant which has rolled out celebrity meals before, but never a whole menu. All of this underscores the star power of Mariah Carey this time of year. And how she has the, ahem, ho ho whole lot of marketing gold behind her.