A report suggests that singer-songwriter Kate Bush may earn millions in royalties thanks to a newfound interest in her music after it appeared in Stranger Things 4. Bush's song "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" can be heard throughout Stranger Things 4, most significantly in the episode "Chapter Four: Dear Billy." After the episode's debut in May, "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" shot up the music charts. First released on Bush's 1985 album Hounds of Love, the song became the musician's first top-10 hit in the United States 37 years later.
Music industry publication Music Business Worldwide reports that Bush is likely earning millions from the new publicity via streaming platforms like Spotify. That number is especially striking as studies of Spotify's economy continually suggest that its algorithm primarily benefits already hugely popular artists. The rest see a fraction of the streams and receive only a fraction of the payouts after licensors and record labels take their cut.
According to the report, Bush bucks these trends on all fronts. Being in Stranger Things has put her up there with those most-streamed acts. But additionally, she is also the sole owner of "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), having written and recorded the song herself and being the sole holder of the rights to it. Music Business Worldwide did not receive confirmation of what profits Bush is seeing from this boost in streams. It seems likely to be more than the average by a significant margin.
"It's just extraordinary. I mean, it's such a great series, I thought that the track would get some attention, but I never imagined that it would be anything like this," Bush told BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. "It's so exciting. It's quite shocking really, isn't it? The whole world's gone mad ... What's really wonderful is that this is a whole new audience who in a lot of cases haven't heard of me, and I love that. The thought of all these young people hearing this song for the first time and discovering it, well, I think it's very special."
Bush released an earlier statement on her website. She wrote, "You might've heard that the first part of the fantastic, gripping new series of Stranger Things has recently been released on Netflix. It features the song, 'Running Up That Hill' which is being given a whole new lease on life by the young fans who love the show — I love it too! Because of this, 'Running Up That Hill' is charting around the world and has entered the UK chart at No. 8. It's all really exciting! Thanks very much to everyone who has supported the song. I wait with bated breath for the rest of the series in July."
For its part, Spotify tapped into the Stranger Things synergy, releasing a playlist to help listeners fight Vecna. The final two episodes of Stranger Things Season Four debuted on Friday, July 1st. The entire season is now streaming on Netflix.