Metallica’s music was streamed 1.3 billion times on Spotify in 2021. This marks the third year in a row that the band’s songs were played more than a billion times on the digital music service in a 12-month period.
The heavy metal legends’ social media revealed their latest streaming feat on Friday (December 31), adding that “With all the ups and downs of 2021, one thing remained consistent – you listened to a lot of Metallica on @spotify! Just when we thought you couldn’t possibly listen to any more, you went and proved us wrong. Clocking in at 112.2M hours of streaming, we were the top artist for 1M of you! Honestly, we don’t even know what to say. But a massive Thank You, ‘Tallica Family feels pretty appropriate right about now. Happy New Year to you all; we’ll see ya in 2022! #2021ArtistWrapped”.
Back in December 2012, Metallica made the first nine of their studio albums, as well as various live material, singles, remixes and collaborations, available for the first time on Spotify. The move was significant because Sean Parker, who co-founded Napster, later sat on the board of Spotify. Metallica waged a battle with Napster more than a decade earlier over the illegal sharing of the band’s music, which resulted in both legal action and a battered public image for the band.
At the press conference in New York announcing the Spotify deal on December 6, 2012 Parker and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich appeared together and seemingly buried the hatchet. Ulrich said, “When [Parker] and I saw each other a few months ago. We could see that we had been put down as adversaries. We realize we had much more in common and sitting down was long overdue. We were younger, maybe somewhat more ignorant. We sat down and had a heart to heart.”
In a statement at its web site, Metallica said, “We are extremely proud to be a part of Spotify, who not only has a proven track record, but is by far the best streaming service.”
Metallica have been able to make these deals directly since, as of 2012, the band has complete control over the master tapes of all their audio and video recordings. The band has also launched its own label, Blackened Recordings.
Metallica’s two 40th-anniversary concerts were held at San Francisco’s Chase Center on December 17 and December 19. The two shows featured different setlists. They were part of Metallica’s “San Francisco Takeover”, a four-day citywide celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary that also included a film festival, photo exhibit and curated line-up of smaller venue shows featuring other acts.