Top 1% of Touring Musicians Make 60% of All Concert Revenue

May 6, 2019
Taylor Swift

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

According to a new analysis by a deceased Princeton University economist, the top 1 percent of touring musicians--artists like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheehan, and U2--make 60 percent of all touring revenue, up from 26 percent in 1982. “The middle has dropped out of music, as more consumers gravitate to a smaller number of superstars,” Alan Krueger writes in a new book, Rockonomics, set to come out in June. (Krueger died in March.) The Wall Street Journal reports that this widening discrepancy between rock's upper and middle classes is due in large part to skyrocketing ticket prices, which rose from an average of $12 in 1981 to $69 in 2017.