Taylor Swift Vs. The Beatles: A Decade After Spotify’s Launch, Who Has More Streams?

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.
Spotify celebrates its 10-year anniversary this October and, like many of the songs on the streaming platform, it has become an instant must-have. The way we listen to music has been forever changed by streaming, but has what we listen to changed just as much?
To celebrate Spotify’s milestone, we asked them one of our most burning music questions: who has more streams, The Beatles or Taylor Swift? The Beatles are inextricably interwoven into the fabric of modern music. If you listen closely, you would have a hard time finding a band or artist that truly took truly no cues from The Beatles, even unconsciously. But Taylor Swift is one of today’s most influential artists and has been setting bigger and better records for herself with each new album.
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Based on Spotify’s data, the answer might surprise you...depending on how big of a Taylor Swift fan you are. Swift’s music was streaming on Spotify when it launched but then taken down for three years before she rejoined the streaming platform in 2017. The Beatles’ catalog didn’t make it onto Spotify until 2015, though their numbers already put them neck and neck with Swift’s lifetime streams. Looking at the 20 most streamed songs between the two, Taylor Swift takes an overwhelming lead with 13 of the songs being hers. Her latest album, reputation, leads with the most songs with top streaming numbers. By the top 50, they each sit at an even 25 each. It should be noted that The Beatles have quite a few more studio albums than Swift, 13 compared to Swift’s six currently.
Take a look at the top 10 most streamed songs by Taylor Swift and The Beatles:
1. “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift
2. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
3. “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles
4. “...Ready For It?” by Taylor Swift
5. “Delicate” by Taylor Swift
6. “Come Together” by The Beatles
7. “Love Story” by Taylor Swift
8. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift
9. “End Game” by Taylor Swift
10. “Gorgeous” by Taylor Swift
Current artists are passing up records previously set by bands we consider to be icons of music. With 180 million active monthly listeners in 65 countries, Spotify has a pretty good gauge on what people are listening to and what gets the most airtime. The Rolling Stones, considered to be one of the legends on rock and roll average 11.4 million streams per month, while Rihanna gets more than twice that with nearly 30 million streams each month. Now, Taylor Swift is beating out one of the world’s most legendary bands in popularity on the streaming platform.
Spotify’s data also showed that with each passing year, users listen to more and more artists. Since 2014, the average number of artists each listener streams per week has increased 40% to an average of 40 different artists each week, proving that there’s room on our playlists for both of them.
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