Tuesday, 20 July 2010

U2 tops list of music's biggest earners

If you can sell a concert ticket, in the music business you can make money. In fact, Forbes magazine suggests, that appears to be the only way to make significant money in the music business.
Forbes has issued its Top 10 earners list of musicians between June 2009 and June 2010, and only two of them, Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas, have had abundant sales of recorded music. On top of that, only two of the acts pulled in more than $100 million, a plateau that Forbes speculates will not be topped next year.
U2 (tickets), which led the list, was one of four rock 'n' roll acts in the Top 10, and of them, only Coldplay, which tied with BEP for No. 10, is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen were Nos. 2 and 3. Springsteen has been off the road since late November; AC/DC just finished a world tour that started in late July. Both acts performed in a mix of stadiums and arena, while U2 played only stadiums.
Beyonce (No. 3) and Jay-Z (No. 6) are now certifiable as pop music's wealthiest family. His income, bolstered by a tour that pulled in $1 million per night, derives from his nightclub chain and most current album; hers is split between tour income and fashion related money.
Madonna clocked in at No. 8, below two of her acolytes, Britney Spears (No. 5) and Lady Gaga (No. 7). Kenny Chesney, at No. 9, was the lone country performer on the list.
Lady Gaga is the only act who is having concurrent hit singles and tours -- not to mention important licensing deals with film and television -- while pulling in endorsement revenue. She is aligned with Polaroid, Virgin Mobile and Monster Cable.
In estimating each act's income, Forbes added touring income plus endorsement and other business deals. It makes complete sense in the case of Spears, who has deals with Elizabeth Arden and Candies, and Beyonce, who pulls in close to half her earnings from Nintendo, L'Oreal and her fashion line.In the case of Jay-Z, however, investments are confused with revenue generators; it's unlikely he is seeing much of a return on his percentages in the New Jersey Nets or the Broadway musical "Fela!"

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