Many believe that the rise of the Internet has made it difficult for music artists to earn money. Their record sales are unlike the good old days of MTV, CD’s, and cassette tapes. But even though anyone can grab a copy of their favorite artist’s record through illegal downloads for free, these musicians are still making millions through their live acts.
According to Pollstar, the top earner in 2012 was Madonna, who earned nearly $300 million in that year alone for performing in front of over two million of her fans. She earned a total of $296.1 million. Following her on the list is Bruce Springsteen who earned $210.2 million and Roger Waters earning $186.4 million. Other acts which grossed over one hundred million were Coldplay, Lady Gaga, and Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal” tour.
Justin Bieber has been a big name in the music industry for almost six years. He got noticed in 2007 for his cover of Neyo’s “So Sick,” which he performed in a local singing competition in Ontario, Canada. He was 12 back then and by the time he was 13, he already signed a record deal with Raymond Braun Media Group. But because he was signed to Island Records in 2008, it became a joint venture between the two media groups.
Since then, he has already released three albums which has given him $15 million in earnings. In 2010, Bieber launched his My World and My World 2.0 albums and he grossed about $150 million dollars performing 157 tour dates in over 20 countries.
In February 2011, a film entitled “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” was released. It was a part-biopic and part-concert film which topped the box office charts and grossed $100 million worldwide. Because of all the hype Justin Bieber has garnered, his earnings and net worth are up to $110 million.
Thanks to the women in his life, like his mom and all the teenage fans around the world, Justin Bieber has been raking it in and living the life most people can only dream of. And he hasn’t even stepped foot in college yet.
Dr. Dre has been considered the highest paid artist after making over $100 million. This is thanks to his headphones business, Beast by Dr. Dre. However, it was reported that most of his earnings were from the Wall concert tour which brought in a whopping $158 million.
The former Pink Floyd bassist and founder member, Roger Waters has been in the news for being one of the highest grossing rock musicians, earning $88 million in the year 2012. It seems like the music of Roger Waters is timeless and his legacy will live on for more years to come.
Bands from the UK are always among the top paid musicians. Following Waters is the musician and singer Elton John with his earnings up to $80 million followed by U2 with $78 million.Take That ($69 million), Bon Jovi ($60 million), Britney Spears ($58 million), Paul McCartney ($57 million), Taylor Swift ($57 million), and Justin Bieber ($55 million) complete the top 10 list of Forbes’ highest paid musicians.
Aside from their tours, musicians also earn money by performing in private events. Some artists like Eminem charge per song like what he did in a UK festival when he charged $66,000 per song. That two-night performance earned him $3.3 million. Other rappers like Jay-Z and Kanye West charge $3 million per performance. Pop stars like Rihanna charge $800,000 for a one night performance while Nicki Minaj is at $150,000 for a single evening show.
There’s no wonder these musicians earn so much for their shows. They can charge as much as $100 per ticket. Starting at $105.35, you can get a ticket to see Bon Jovi live in concert. Known to be one of the greatest bands of all time, The Rolling Stones can be seen for a fee of $136.63 per ticket. Paul McCartney, former band member of The Beatles, still tours and does a few Beatles songs and his originals. Fans can see him for $288 per ticket. The most expensive female artist to see live is not Madonna but is Barbra Streisand with her ticket costing $300. But the most expensive musician to see live, and with good reason, is Sir Elton John. For $306, you can watch him sing his classic tunes while playing on his piano. Perhaps it costs more because he was knighted by the Queen of England.
Musicians make the most money from their concerts because that is the testament to why they rose to popularity. Performing in front of thousands of their fans is what their job is all about. The music videos and record albums are for promotional purposes only since those are what get them noticed by the public.
When MTV came out, they ventured into music videos but with the rise of the Internet and sites like YouTube as well as the ease of downloading their music for free, these musicians still survive by going on tours worldwide. Even though ticket prices are higher, the demand to see these artists live because of their quirky antics or theatrical performances are what keep people buying their tickets.
Tours last for months as they travel from one continent to the next hoping to entertain their fans and cut across cultural differences. Performing in big arenas and stadiums, these musicians know how important it is to put on a great show. That is possibly what has kept some 70’s and 80’s bands raking it in until this day, because they are dedicated to making it an extravagant show for all the fans who have supported them through listening to their music. Though the music industry greatly suffered from Internet piracy, the great musicians have survived by making their shows worth watching.