If you’ve been anywhere this holiday season – a restaurant, a mall, a car with the radio playing – you’ve likely heard “queen of Christmas” Mariah Carey’s hit holiday single, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Since its release in 1994, the song has been a Christmas staple, skyrocketing to the top of the charts each and every holiday season. But how much does Mariah Carey make off of “All I Want for Christmas is You?”
The track truly is the gift that keeps on giving for Carey, the song’s writers and its label, Sony Music, as it continues to garner streams year over year. In fact, in 2021, the master recording of “All I Want for Christmas is You,” co-written with Walter Afanasieff, generated a whopping 1.747 million song consumption units in America, Billboard reports.
Out of those 1.747 million consumption units, 200 million were on-demand audio streams, 52.5 million were video on-demand streams, 24 million were programmed streams and 48,000 were track downloads. But how much money does this translate to? All of those plays and downloads combined generated approximately $1.36 million for Carey and Sony Music.
But that’s not all. The song’s publishing (which includes physical sales of the five albums “All I Want for Christmas is You” appears on) garnered another $378,000 in 2021. Plus, that’s only in the United States, which accounted for just “51 per cent of download sales and 30.7 per cent of on-demand streaming.”
Thus, Billboard estimates that in total, globally, the master recording brought in nearly $4.5 million with an additional $1.66 million publishing royalties. That means that “All I Want for Christmas is You” brings in an impressive revenue of $6.16 million in just one year – and Mariah Carey likely gets around $1.55 million of the master recording revenue and somewhere between $415,000 and $830,000 from the publishing royalties.
This lands the “Fantasy” singer making somewhere between $1.965 million and $2.38 million in a year for “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Even more shockingly, the estimate excludes revenue from any cover versions of the song and holiday television specials and soundtracks.
So, it looks like Mariah Carey won’t be going without much this holiday season and – unlike her – all we want for Christmas is to magically write a chart-topping holiday hit.