And it’s total shit.

As modes of music consumption change and streaming becomes the primary source for music-listening, documenting what is most popular or “selling,” so to speak, has adapted. Earlier this year, the Recording Industry Association of American amended its rules for platinum and gold status by adding a variety of streaming metrics — even allowing 10 streams of one track to count as an album sold.

With all of this new technology in mind, The Guardian has worked out which songs would be the “best selling” of all time as ranked by streaming stats. Have a look. The number in brackets is the rank in the all-time best-selling singles chart:

01 (14) Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ (113,898,731 streams)
02 (7) Whitney Houston – ‘I Will Always Love You’ (67,756,710)
03 (13) Celine Dion – ‘My Heart Will Go On’ (50,443,976)
04 (16) Scorpions – ‘Wind of Change’ (42,975,143)
05 (12) Bryan Adams – ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ (39,287,271)
06 (1) Bing Crosby – ‘White Christmas’ (35,548,184)
07 (11) John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – ‘You’re the One That I Want’ (26,673,010)
08 (2) Elton John – ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ (18,838,214)
09 (4) Mungo Jerry – ‘In the Summertime’ (14,378,863)
10 (20) The Beatles – ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ (10,455,054)

This is kind of indefensible, right? And how is ‘Wind of Change’ more popular than ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’? Perhaps the conclusion here is that streaming, over purchasing, allows for less self-conscious listening — but now we know that we all have terrible taste.



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