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75%+ of richest artists’ income is from touring

On average, the ten highest-paid artists made more than three quarters of their income last year from touring, reveals a new list of music’s biggest money-makers.

The list, compiled by Billboard, combines revenue from sales, streaming, publishing and touring. Of the top ten – Beyoncé, Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Adele, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, Kanye West and Kenny Chesney, in that order – only one placed artist, Drake, earnt more from recorded music than from live.

Beyoncé (pictured) brought in US$4.3 million from sales, $1.9m from streaming and $1.3m from publishing, but $54.7m from touring (her Formation world tour was the highest grossing of the year); for second-placed Guns N’ Roses, meanwhile, the figures are $771,700, $670,800, $499,600 and $40.4m, respectively.

Beyoncé’s Formation world tour grosses $256m

Drake, the sole exception to the rule, earnt $18.1m from streaming compared to $13.6m from touring. Kanye West’s streaming performance was also strong ($7.6m), although it was still under half the $15.4m he took home from live shows.

Added together, income from sales, streaming and publishing for the top ten totalled around $71.1m – or just 24.4% of the $291.7m they made from touring.

Music streaming is, of course, on the rise, climbing 9.9% in the first six months of 2017 alone. But –Drake aside – Billboard’s charts illustrate how even the world’s biggest artists are struggling to make significant money from streaming – and prove once again that it’s a good time to be in the concert business…


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Beyoncé’s Formation world tour grosses $256m

Beyoncé’s Formation world tour, which wrapped up on Friday 7 October, will likely become the highest-grossing tour of 2016 after taking in more than US$256 million after five and a half months on the road in North America and Europe.

The American singer’s fifth headlining solo tour, promoted worldwide by Live Nation, grossed $256,084,556 from 2.2m tickets, according to Billboard’s Boxscore chart, eclipsing Taylor Swift’s 1989, which at $250.4m was the highest-grossing tour of 2015.

Both acts sold a similar number of tickets – Swift shifted closer to 2.3m – although the all-stadium Formation did so with less shows: 49 to 1989′s 83.

Tour promoter Arthur Fogel attributes the success of the tour to Beyoncé’s “rabid, committed fanbase”

The most lucrative stop on the tour came from Beyoncé’s two sell-out dates at Wembley Stadium in London in July, which grossed a total of $15.3m from 142,500 tickets.

Tour promoter Arthur Fogel, chairman of Live Nation’s Global Touring division, tells Billboard the success of the tour is down to Beyoncé’s “rabid, committed fanbase”.

Originally announced as a 40-date tour, the Formation trek was beefed up in May with a final US leg. Within a week of going on sale, in February, the tour had already sold close to one million tickets.


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