You’ve probably assumed that Mariah Carey is rolling in the holiday dough as a result of her perennial favorite “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which this year marked its fourth journey to the top of the charts. But if you’ve ever wondered just how much Mariah takes in from that little ditty each year, the folks over at Billboard have crunched the numbers.
According to Billboard, there are two income streams that Mariah earns money from: publishing — because she co-wrote the song — and master recording revenue. Also, you have to look at things globally to get a full picture of just how much money is involved.
Billboard ran the numbers for 2021, because obviously 2022 isn’t over yet. Globally, there were 94,000 downloads and 823 million streams of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Billboard estimates that in total, that amounted to $4.5 million in master recording revenue and $1.66 million in publishing royalties. Together, that means the song itself made $6.16 million in 2021 — but Mariah doesn’t get all of that.
For the master recording revenue, Billboard estimates that she gets just $1.55 million; her record company gets the rest. For publishing, Mariah and Walter Afanasieff are the only two writers credited on the song. If she and Walter have a 50-50 split, she’d make $830,000. If she owns her publishing, her take-home would be $747,000 after a 10% administration fee.
Let’s say Mariah doesn’t own her publishing. That means her actual 2021 net income from the song is $2.4 million, maybe not as much as you thought.
However, as Billboard notes, the estimate doesn’t include cover versions of the song — of which there are many — or income from things like TV specials.
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