Taylor Swift Was Music's Biggest Money Maker of 2015 with $73.5M – See Who Else Made the List!
One Direction, Luke Bryan and The Rolling Stones also all make appearances in the top 10
Though the phenomenal success of Adele‘s most recent album contributed to the theory that the record industry might not be entirely dead yet, Billboard‘s new list of 2015’s highest-paid musicians seems to confirm the new axiom of post-digital music: Touring is what’s gonna pay the bills.
The magazine crunched numbers from an artist’s album sales, streaming revenue, publishing royalties (when other people cover or perform a song you wrote) and touring gross to come up with a final tally. Check out the top 10 below.
1. Taylor Swift
Total 2015 Revenue: $73.5M
Swift brought in the vast majority of 2015’s cash through her 1989 World Tour, which raked in $61.7 million dollars.
Total 2015 Revenue: $39.9M
Chesney’s “Big Revival” 2015 tour bounced him back onto Billboard‘s list after two years. He pulled in $38.1 million of his overall $39.9 million in earnings on the road, a testament to just how important hitting the road is/was for him.
3. The Rolling Stones
Total 2015 Revenue: $39.6M Even without an album to promote, the Stones remain a top concert draw, and pulled in $37.3 million for their first North American tour since 2007.
4. Billy Joel
Total 2015 Revenue: $30.1M
Joel did the Stones one better. He played just 29 shows, 12 of them at Madison Square Garden, and pulled in $30.1 million from them. $1 million a show for not even leaving your home state? That’s pretty good.
5. One Direction
Total 2015 Revenue: $19.6M
The boys actually had a more even split of revenue than a lot of other artists. They made $3.1 million in sales, $891,800 in streaming and $19.6 million in touring.
6. The Grateful Dead
Total 2015 Revenue: $23.8M
As with their entire career, the Dead did better on the road than anywhere else. Their Fare Thee Well and Dead & Company Tours pulled in $22.5 million of their overall revenue.
7. Luke Bryan
Total 2015 Revenue: $23.1M
Despite his claim that he’d rather just be huntin’ and fishin’ everyday, Bryan is actually quite the renaissance man. He sold an impressive $4 million in combined physical and digital, is country’s number 1 streaming artist, with $511,500 pulled from there and he grabbed another $17.9 million from touring.
Total 2015 Revenue: $21.8M
The majority of U2’s revenue in 2015 came from touring ($20.6 million) as the band struggled to find a foothold between lagging album sales and streams.
Total 2015 Revenue: $20.5M
Adele is the biggest dark horse on this list. She didn’t tour at all, and instead made her money the old-timey way: $16.3 million from sales and $3.7 million from publishing.
10. Maroon 5
Total 2015 Revenue: $19.2M
Though the group’s latest release is two years behind them, they managed to nab $2.7 million in sales and $2.6 million in publishing, padding their $13 million and continuing to prove that The Voice is generally better for its hosts’ careers than its contestants’.
Check out the rest of the list, which includes Ed Sheeran, the Weeknd and more, here.