It’s always interesting to see exactly who’s making all the money in the music business, and sometimes the results can be surprising. Every year Billboard releases a top Money Makers chart based on data for the previous year, and this year is particularly interesting. Let’s look at the top 10 money making artists. Remember that the numbers reflect total revenue, including touring, sales, streaming and publishing.
#1: The Rolling Stones – $65 million
#2: Arianna Grande – $44.3 million
#3: Elton John – $43.3 million
#4: Jonas Brothers – $40.9 million
#5: Queen – $35.2 million
#6: Post Malone – $34.2 million
#7: P!nk – $30.5 million
#8: KISS – $26.7 million
#9: Billy Joel – $26.1 million
#10: Justin Timberlake – $25.9 million
#40: Panic! At The Disco – $15.4 million
Money In The Pocket
The thing to understand here is that the number specified is the net amount that the artist makes, not the gross. Billboard used a lot of educated guesses that take into account everything from producer fees to average streaming rates to manager fees and a whole lot more to provide these reasonable estimates.
One of the things that you’ll notice when you go through the top Money Makers chart is that there are only 3 R&B/hip hop artists included out of the 40 possible spaces. This is particularly interesting in that it seems like almost every major daily or weekly chart is dominated by hip hop these days. The problem is that either the way the streaming consumption is calculated is incorrect, or that fans are just not parting with their hard cash when the time comes.
It could mean that a limited number of fans play these songs over and over. If that’s the case, those big numbers only represent a smaller number of fans than was previously estimated.
That said, there’s a pretty good mixture of new to legacy artists on the Money Makers chart, even when it comes to touring. Obviously that might change next year when this chart is released thanks for a limited amount of touring in 2020. That’s when we’ll get to see just how much online consumption means to an artist’s bottom line.