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The Revenue From A Single Taylor Swift Concert  

1 (1)For those curious about how much an A-list superstar like Taylor Swift makes off a single concert, a recent performance at a publicly owned stadium offers a unique look at such an event's revenue breakdown.


Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0

If you ever wondered where the money goes when an A-list artist gives a concert, the Tampa Bay Times laid it out pretty well.

4 (1)Most of the time the income and expenses for a concert are hidden, but in this case the venue (Raymond James Stadium) is publicly owned and operated so most of the data is readily available.

This is financially what happened during a Halloween concert given at the venue by Taylor Swift:

  • The show was a sellout at 56,987. Swift received 100% of the ticket sales, which initially amounted to almost $4 million, including a $2.75 million guarantee.
  • But there's some intrigue here, as at the last minute Swift's production company became the concert promoter, which means she may see even more money in the end since the final income from tickets was actually more like $5.8 million.
  • $843,947 of that was split between the Tampa Bay Sports Authority and Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team.
  • Merchandise sales brought in $40,784 (which sounds low to me).
  • Food and drink sales amounted to another $244,626.
  • Parking is always a big money maker at concerts and this one was no exception at $127,798.

So the concert brought in about $6.2 million and Taylor Swift kept over $4 million of it, which just goes to show how much money is generated by an A-list artist on the road.

Why Music Streaming Isn't Really About The Music 

3500231_origIt may seem strange for companies like YouTube and Amazon to be entering the streaming industry, particularly given how notoriously unprofitable it is, but by offering it bundled with other services, profitability becomes less important than long-term customer loyalty.


Guest Post by Alaister Moughan

Why Does YouTube need a music streaming service? What’s the point of having music in Amazon Prime? The entrance of YouTube and Amazon into the streaming market is intriguing.  Why would they want to enter an unprofitable business, let alone enter it so late?

The motivation is strategic.  The rationale for YouTube, Amazon, and Apple to enter the music streaming market isn’t to compete in the market, but rather absorb a music service as part of a wide service offering - the way Time/Warner or Verizon bundles cable and internet.  

These “generalist” competitors have the power and scale not only to compete but also to change the basis of competition itself - to change the record so to speak.  And for once, that record doesn't play music.

Let’s look at the recently announced YouTube Red as an example. YouTube Red offers subscribers access to its streaming service “Google Play” as well as an “ad free” YouTube. 

MaxresdefaultAlthough you might prefer Spotify to Google Play, YouTube Red is offering more than an on demand music subscription - it’s also a subscription to the biggest music streaming service in the world - YouTube. 

Even if a small number of current free users subscribe, the sheer volume makes YouTube Red an instant competitor.  While Spotify can boast about its conversion rate, and Tidal celebrate landmarks in converting free trial users to paid users - if only 10% of YouTube’s users sign up for YouTube Red it will be bigger than Spotify and every other interactive services.

With so many potential subscribers at their fingertips, there is a much larger time frame to provide “trial offers”, “family discounts” or “limited loyalty” subscriptions in an effective, direct manner.  For the likes of YouTube Red the launch phase is much less significant. It’s all about the long game.  

YouTube’s popularity also gives it significant bargaining power. While artists and competitors have taken stands against the free offerings of services such as Spotify, few have been brave enough to take on YouTube who until recently was a completely subscription free service (Foot Note: although YouTube’s content ID system does enable some creators to earn a set amount on streams, typically much lower than a subscribed streaming rate).

The reason why artists haven’t been so brave is that the platform provides huge exposure to most high profile artists, a huge Catch-22.  Rich Greenfield, speaking on the latest Musonomics podcast made the analogy to Radio. Radio also doesn't pay a royalty to master rights holders, however a major label artist who withdrew their music from radio would lose massive visibility and record sales by doing so. YouTube is much the same.

An ad-free YouTube is an attractive and unique “add on” service. YouTube reports that an average viewer watches 40 minutes of content.  YouTube Red also has an enormous target market of over a billion users.

The other attribute of music streaming which allows these bundled offerings is that few negligible functional differences aside, most music streaming services are the same:

“Unlike the video world, what distinguishes the music world is that there’s really no barrier to entry. If you want House of Cards or Game of Thrones, those are not things just anyone can go out and get. Most content in the video world is generally locked up in an exclusive basis,” Richard Greenfield.

Instead of competing on catalogue or music features, the distinctive differences are in the other services offered in the subscription bundle.

For Amazon, it’s bundling music services with the Amazon shopping Prime Service as well as video content. For YouTube Red it’s an ad free YouTube and for Apple its bundling the service well, with Apple. 

Apple Music is a small part of Apple’s multi platform/device strategy.  It wants its users to use Apple products on their iPhone, Apple TV, Car Play and beyond.  The standalone profitability of Apple Music isn’t critical.

As Julia Greenberg suggests with huge cash resources and no venture capitalists to cater to Apple is “is playing the long doesn’t need everything to be perfect immediately.” It also doesn't necessarily need the service to be profitable, it only needs to contribute and be valued as part of Apple’s broad range of services.

Generalist competitors can also gain greater benefit from the hidden value of streaming - data. Music subscribers provide these firms with huge volumes of user-specific data that can provide invaluable consumer insights.

Amazon, and Apple can use their existing sophisticated ‘Customer Relationship Management; databases and ‘Data Mining’ infrastructure to collect user data and use it to help tailor how and what they offer to you, in and outside of music. Google meanwhile has more data from its Google Analytics service. Pure streaming services without these collateral offerings have less direct use for this data and ethical dilemmas around sharing it.

The “pure” music streaming services are following the trend of diversification with both Spotify and Tidal recently announcing they will also be providing exclusive video content. However, without the buying power of generalist competitors, providing valuable exclusive video content will be a difficult exercise in an increasingly saturated video content market.

It appears that in the long term ‘pure’ music streaming services which compete on curation, artist involvement or functionality may only appeal to the hardcore ‘music first’ fans- the future’s vinyl revivalists (a grass-roots music first revival business in which Amazon ironically already dominates).  This has major implications for the music business. 

As the streaming market matures, the potential dominance of generalists has significant implications for those that actually create the music.

The music itself may no longer be an important bargaining chip to negotiate with music streaming services.  For a generalist, being able to offer access to an artist's or labels content is a very small part of a much larger package.  Music becomes the stocking filler, rather than the main prize.

Prince-007This means artists have much less power to negotiate.  A Prince Tidal exclusive is a lot less meaningful when the consumer is subscribed to the service for more than the music.  It’s a tough choice, but the average subscriber might favor ad-free YouTube over access to Prince’s catalogue.

Such a market will not be able to create a reasonable balance between providing fans with access to music and ensuring artists are reasonably rewarded for their creativity seems meek at best 

Establishing reasonable royalty rates for creators and improving transparency around these streaming revenues won’t be solved by the market because the music streaming market is now a hybrid e-commerce/tech mutt. Already there are signs that creators currently miniscule streaming earnings will shrink further.  YouTube Red subscriptions will pay content owners 55% of net revenues from subscriptions compared to around 70% for Spotify and Apple Music. 

A generalist dominated streaming market will further impede music creators from receiving reasonable or meaningful royalties.  The generalist trend furthers the urgent need for direct action.  Legislated compulsory royalty rates such as those used in mechanical licenses and non-interactive streaming are one pragmatic solution.  Since the dawn of streaming services the need for such direct conversation has been a polite nudge, perhaps now it’s time for someone to slam the fist on the table.

New On Our Jobs Board: Ass't Music Publicist At CyberPR 

image from music marketing firm CyberPr is hiring a NYC based assistant publicist. Founder Ariel Hyatt says she's looking for "a strong writer who is also a detail-oriented multi-tasker to assist with blogger PR campaigns for independent musicians." More on this gig and others on Hypebot's Music Industry Jobs Board. 

HIRING? Here's how to post your job:

You can post a job opening here starting @ just $29 for 30 days. 

That small fee includes exposure on, on our social media channels and for an additional fee across the web on the Simply Hired network.  

Check out all the jobs here.

5 Types Of Videos That Will Improve Your YouTube Channel (Besides Music Videos) 

4Regularly uploading new content to your YouTube channel is an important part of maintaining fan interest, but you only have so many songs to post, and music videos generally come with a hefty price tag attached. Here are five different types of videos that will keep listeners engaged but are comparatively easy to create.


Guest Post by Hugh McIntyre on the Sonicbids Blog

As a musician, you know how important it is to regularly upload content to your YouTube channel, but sometimes it can be tough to come up with engaging content. There's typically a good stretch of time in between new albums or singles, and music videos – the go-to option for musicians looking for something to post – can be expensive to make.

YouTube is great in that it isn’t just a home for big-budget clips, but rather one where many different kinds of content live. The more content you post, the more there is for your fans to watch (and the greater chance you have of new fans discovering you). If you're trying to fill the gap in between proper releases, you actually have a lot of options.

1. Acoustic versions of your songs

This works for pretty much everyone, unless you’re an artist who only records acoustic music in the first place. Re-recording a song acoustically allows you to put an entirely new spin on almost any track, and fans might find it especially interesting if the original is pretty far from “acoustic.” Are you an electronic artist, or perhaps one who loves turning the knob all the way up on your amp? That’s great, but I’m willing to bet you have some really great songs that could stand the test of switching styles.


An acoustic video can be as simple as setting up your iPhone and recording something in your bedroom (that’s how many people got their start, after all), or you could up the production value if you have the budget and the equipment. Why not record an acoustic take while in the studio and film it, or perhaps in some cool location? These are easy and cheap videos to record, and they can drum up new interest in songs you’ve already released.

2. Live recordings

This one might be a little tougher if you want to do it “right,” or you can go the DIY route and just do your best. If you’re keeping things cheap, ask your friends or the people who work with you (those who would be backstage or who you can get back there) to film you performing, and place people in the audience and in specific locations where they could get some good shots. Between the few people you’ve got taking video (on their phones, or with some real video equipment, which can usually be rented as opposed to purchased), you should be able to piece together a good video. If you’re going to spend the time, money, and effort making this one happen, you might want to film an entire show and make use of all that content later on.

3. Remixes

This one is an interesting prospect, and one that so many bands don’t bother trying out. Remixes can take many forms, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t embrace all of them. If you don’t have much of a budget for this sort of thing, ask local artists or those who are just getting their start if they’d be willing to remix a new single of yours for a small sum of money. If you are willing to spend some money, there are plenty of electronic artists who supplement their income with this kind of work.

A remix from a semi-well-known act can run you a few hundred dollars, but think of it as an investment. Once the remix has been made, you can not only sell it alongside the original, but it can also bring in additional dollars on streaming platforms like YouTube (all you need to do is add a single cover and post it).

4. Lyric videos

If the stars can do it, why shouldn’t you? A lyric video may require you or a good friend to know something about creating and editing clips with some program, but other than that, they can actually be easier than a regular music video. Try not to spend too much time or money on these, but also be creative! If you make them clever and interesting, people will want to watch it more than once, and they’ll do the same with any future clips. If you release something boring, why would they come back? A lyric video is a great way to introduce a new song, as it allows your fans to hear the track, and it satiates them while you work on the proper video treatment.

5. Behind-the-scenes clips

This is really easy, and you should probably already be doing this one. At any point, day or night, just pull out your phone and begin recording. Recording a new song? Tape it. Warming up before a show? Tape it. Picking the order of your new album? Tape it! Behind-the-scenes clips give insight for your fans into what you’re doing and how you do it. While it may seem somewhat mundane for you, it’s exciting to many.

In today’s music world, you need to always be announcing or releasing something, so keep these in mind as you keep recording.


Hugh McIntyre is a freelance pop music journalist in NYC by way of Boston. He has written for BillboardThe Hollywood Reporter, and MTV, as well as various magazines and blogs around the world. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Pop! Bang! Boom! which is dedicated to the genre of pop in all of its glory.

Spotify Offers Deep Discounts - 3 Months For 99¢, Free With Chromecast - Artists Get Nothing 

Spotify newJust in time for the holiday buying season, Spotify is repeating some the deep discounts that it offered earlier this year. And while they may help keep the music streamer stay competitive, they offer almost nothing in compensation to artists and rights holders. 

image from www.hypebot.comSpotify is promoting deep discounts to its Premium service, which usually costs $9.99 per month.

Now through January 2nd, new Spotify paid users can get 3 months of premium service, usually costing $29.97, for just 99 cents. And if you are lucky enough to own Google Chromecast streaming device, you can get 3 months of Spotify Premium 100% free.  These offers appear to be available both in the U.S, and overseas.  

But, unlike Apple Music, when Spotify offers free trials, no royalties are paid; and when they charge 99 cents, the streamer does not make up the difference. Creators and rights holders are paid a percentage of revenue by on demand streaming music services.  So when Spotify sells a three month subscription for 99 cents,  $29 less per subscriber is added to the payment pool.

"This is a promotional offer in the US that drives new users to become Premium subscribers after the trial period," a Spotify spokesperson told Hypebot earlier this year when they were running another 99 cent deal. "We tested this back in December, 2014 and the results were really great in terms of Premium retention."

MORE: When Spotify, TIDAL Offer Deep Discounts, Who Pays The Creators?

THE PITCH: iMusician Digtal Distribution 

The pitchThis PITCH comes from Swiss based indie digital music distributor iMusician; and like all the startups featured on THE PITCH, they've been given 100 words to tell you all about themselves.
image from
iMusician Digital is an online music distribution service trusted by 20,000 independent artists and labels worldwide. 
iMusician distributes music to over 250 shops like iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon and Beatport. Besides a powerful music distribution service, iMusician offers useful options like YouTube monetiaation, publishing administration and interesting partner deals. All iMusician contracts and the support team are available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. Visit our website and subscribe for free today.
  • Find out about other early stage music startups here on The Pitch.
  • If you'd like your startup considered for The Pitch, send your 100 words or less plus a logo and links to us via email here. 

Eagles Fan Concert Footage Lawsuit Settled 

the eaglesFew artists are as aggressive, and successful, at protecting their intellectual property as The Eagles. This time they settled before the suit went to trial.


image from cps-static.rovicorp.comThe Eagles, Don Henley and Glen Frey have settled a federal lawsuit against New York fan Bill Shelley. Shelley is accused of peddling bootleg tapings of live Eagles concerts.The lawsuit against settled with a permanent injunction barring Shelley from ever releasing or showing any of the recordings from any show.

Henley and Frey sent a cease-and-desist letter when they learned the Avon Theater in Connecticut was advertising an October 2014 show called "Legends of Rock Live: The Eagles: 1976 Tour" with concert footage from Shelley's film vault, according to the Associated Press.

Shelley's lawyer told the Daily News that Shelley canceled the show but the band members sued him anyway.

Both sides settled the lawsuit however the terms have not been divulged.

via Celebrity Access

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