There’s a lot of money in music once you reach the top 1%, so it’s always interesting to see who made what and how they did it. Billboard took a look at the top 50 money makers of 2016 and found some interesting results. Here’s the top 10.
1. Beyonce – $62.1 million. Most of this ($54 mil) came from touring with $4.3 from sales and $1.9 from streaming.
2. Guns n Roses – $42.3 million. Once again, most of the revenue ($40.4 million) came from touring with just $620k from streaming.
3. Bruce Springsteen – $42.2 million. Bruce earned about $40 mil on the road and just $167.5k from streaming (We’re experiencing a trend here).
4. Drake – $37.3 million. Now we see the differences between a new generation of artists and the old. Drake made $18.1 million from streaming and a little under $14 mil from touring.
5. Adele – $37 million. $28 million from touring and a respectable $1.2 million from streaming. She also did pretty well on the sales front at $4.9 million.
6. Coldplay – $32.3 million. Most of the band’s revenue again comes from touring at $26 million and $2.7 million from streaming.
7. Justin Bieber – $30.5 million. $25.6 million touring and $1.9 million from streaming (I thought this would be a lot higher).
8. Luke Bryan – $27.3 million. Once again most of Luke’s revenue comes from touring at $23.3 million, but he did earn $2.1 million from streaming.
9. Kenye West – $26.1 million. Kanye saw a lot of streams from his last album and it resulted in $7.6 million in income.
10. Kenny Chesney – $25.4 million. $23 million of this came from touring.
Other artists that made a lot from streaming include Rhianna at $7.6 million and Twenty-One Pilots at $6.1 million, but many of the top 50 artists didn’t even crack $100k (most are legacy artists). What I’d like to know is where was Ed Sheeran on the list, since it’s been reported that he earned $20 million from Spotify alone last year?
As you can see, touring is still where it’s at when it comes to pulling down the big bucks for the top money makers. That’s been a consistent theme since the 50s in the music business, although it looks like streaming is becoming a much larger income stream to newer artists who have an audience steeped in the streaming culture.