Taylor Swift Is Worth A Ton Of Money & It’s Not From Selling Albums
If you had to guess which musicians made the most money last year you might think Miley Cyrus, Pharrell, and Taylor Swift simply because their songs were everywhere, but things don't always line up that way. Well, in Swift's case they do. Taylor Swift is the top earning musician of 2013 bringing in nearly $40 million according to Billboard's Money Makers rankings. The list ranks 40 musical acts altogether and, other than Swift, the order isn't what you might expect.
The top ten is as follows:
1. Taylor Swift $39,699,575.602. Kenny Chesney $32,956,240.703. Justin Timberlake $31,462,297.034. Bon Jovi $29,436,801.04 5. The Rolling Stones $26,225,121.716. Beyoncé $24,429,176.867. Maroon 5 $22,284,754.078. Luke Bryan $22,142,235.989. Pink $20,072,072.3210. Fleetwood Mac $19,13,101.98
First, it is strange that these numbers are down to the cent, especially since they're estimates, but Billboard uses a pretty complicated methodology. What you need to know is that these amounts are based on "touring, recorded- music sales, publishing royalties and revenue from digital music and video streaming." They do not include sponsorships or merchandising.
Now some of the artists included aren't surprising. Swift's Red Tour began last year and brought in around $30 million alone. Timberlake released a double album, The 20/20 Experience and had a tour of his own as well as a joint tour with Jay-Z. Then there's Beyoncé who traveled the world with The Mrs. Carter Show and released her surprise album which brought in $1.3 million. The key to making money in music isn't album sales, radio plays, or song downloads, it's tours and that explains why the rest of the list consists primarily of country acts and classic rock.
Chesney topped "1 million in attendance for ten consecutive tours," according to Billboard and was part of the $90 million No Shoes Nation tour in 2013. The remaining acts of the list shared similar fates raking in that concert money. International appeal was important for many of the artists including Pink who had 18 consecutive sell outs in Melbourne, Australia. Bon Jovi, which also had overseas money pouring in, got an additional boost from royalty money. The band pulled $300,000 in digital downloads because "Livin' on a Prayer" will forever be popular at frat parties and sporting events.
The two big points this list makes is that the artists you hear about all the time aren't necessarily the ones earning the big money — I had no idea Maroon 5 even had anything going on — and that however much you thought musicians were making, it is wayyy more if they're touring.