In 2023, Taylor Swift has towered above her musical peers on multiple fronts. And earlier this week, she racked up another major achievement when she was named Spotify‘s top-streamed artist of 2023.
As part of its annual year-end Wrapped rundown on Wednesday (Nov. 29), Spotify announced that Swift had racked up 26.1 billion streams globally on the service since Jan. 1, topping the likes of three-time champ Bad Bunny as well as The Weeknd, Drake and Peso Pluma. This didn’t exactly come as a surprise considering the ongoing success of her late-2022 album, Midnights, as well as two chart-topping re-recordings: Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and 1989 (Taylor’s Version), the latter of which racked up a whopping 375.49 million on-demand official streams in its first week.
Swift’s year on Spotify tops any artist ever on the platform, which — now 15 years since launching — keeps expanding its user base annually. For comparison, when Bad Bunny was announced as the top Wrapped artist in the prior three years, he had 18.5 billion streams in 2022, 9.1 billion in 2021 and 8.3 billion streams in 2020.
According to Billboard‘s royalty calculator, Swift’s 26.1 billion streams amount to about $97 million in recorded music royalties. And the year’s not even done yet. When estimating her total streams through December, that number would swell to 27.2 billion, amounting to recorded music royalties of $101 million through the end of the year from Spotify alone. Add in publishing revenue, and Swift’s music will have earned about $131 million on Spotify by the end of the year.
Of course, that only accounts for Swift’s performance on Spotify, which remains the streaming market leader. When tallying on-demand streams across all platforms — including such heavy-hitters as Apple Music, YouTube Music and Amazon Music — Billboard estimates that her catalog racked up a total of 38.3 billion streams through the end of the year, amounting to a total of about $160 million in recorded royalties, by Billboard’s estimates. With publishing, Swift’s total on-demand streaming revenue gets close to $200 million.
It’s worth noting that Swift likely takes the lion’s share of this money. In her contract with Universal Music Group and Republic Records, signed in 2018, she retained master rights to all of her music going forward. That includes all four of her re-recorded Taylor’s Version albums so far: Fearless, Red, Speak Now and 1989. That re-recording project — which she famously embarked upon after her previous label, Big Machine Records, was acquired by Scooter’s Braun‘s Ithaca Holdings in 2019, much to Swift’s chagrin — has performed beyond likely even Swift’s wildest dreams. And it’s proven a lucrative gambit for the superstar, whose Taylor’s Versions have consistently outperformed the originals on streaming since their respective releases.
Not bad for someone who famously pulled her catalog from Spotify less than a decade ago, calling it a “grand experiment.”
Additional reporting from Glenn Peoples.