Metallica Tally More Than 1 Billion Spotify Streams in 2020

The metal legends, who once sued Napster, are celebrating their latest streaming accolade: "Thank you for spending so much of your year with us!"

Metallica, photo by Herring & Herring

As they enter their 40th year of existence, Metallica remain a metal powerhouse: the band tallied more than 1 billion streams on Spotify in 2020 alone.

Metallica shared a graphic on their Instagram feed, which lists their 2020 Spotify statistics as 1.1 billion streams, 99.3 million hours, 53.3 million unique listeners, and 92 different countries.

‘We thought last year’s numbers were insane,” wrote the band. “You guys have outdone yourselves! 99.3M hours?! That’s like if someone started listening on October 27, 9318 B.C. and never stopped. Can anyone guess what this year’s most-played song was, clocking in at 128.6M streams?? You remain the most dedicated fans in the world – thank you for spending so much of your year with us!”

The two most-played songs were likely “Nothing Else Matters” or “Enter Sandman”, both from Metallica’s mega-selling “Black Album”. Each have crossed a half-billion streams in total since Metallica’s music first hit Spotify, far above the No. 3 tune, “Master of Puppets”, which has 300,000 streams.

Twenty years ago, Metallica weren’t as thrilled with listeners consuming their music online. In 2000, Lars Ulrich and the rest of the band launched a notorious legal fight against Napster, then a peer-to-peer file-sharing service, over copyright infringement issues. Metallica would prevail, ultimately leading to the demise of Napster. Years later, Napster was relaunched as a legal streaming service.

In addition to streaming the band’s music, fans can show their love of all things Metallica by picking up an item from the band’s newly launched partnership with apparel maker Puck Hcky. Among the selections are eye-catching Kill ‘Em All and Master of Puppets hockey jerseys. And if that’s not enough, Metallica have teamed up with Walmart for exclusive colored vinyl editions of their first five albums, plus 2016’s Hardwired … To Self-Destruct.

On top of that, there’s new Metallica music on the way. The band has been working on a new album, with Ulrich jokingly telling Classic Rock magazine, “It’s the heaviest thing, the coolest.” He added, “All kidding aside, if it wasn’t because we thought that the best record was still ahead of us, then why keep doing it?”